Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.
Mark Anthony Conrad, 83, of Charlotte, passed away unexpectedly Monday, January 3, 2022.
He was born January 1, 1939 in St Paul, MN to the late Albert Nelson Knoop and Kathleen Kilbride Knoop. As the first-born son of an entertainer, Mark spent his childhood traveling the U.S. for his dad’s performances. He loved to tell that he had lived in every state but three: Maine, Alaska, and Hawaii. His constant relocation fostered a future love of culture, storytelling and the finer things in life.
Prior to starting a career, Mark served in the Minnesota Army National Guard. In 1965, Mark began what would become a very successful career in the broadcasting business. He started as a sales rep for WBT-AM Radio in Charlotte, NC. In 1967 Mark joined WBTV Sales and thus forged a long and meaningful career in television. With Mark’s ambition, his career quickly evolved from sales to station management. This journey took him (and later his family) from Charlotte to New York (Katz Television), Greenville, SC (WFBC-TV), Cincinnati (WLWT) back to Charlotte (WCCB), then Greensboro, NC (WFMY) and back to Charlotte again. Upon his return to Charlotte in 1987, Mark led WJZY, from a budding independent station to a major competitor eventually gaining network affiliation. During this time, Mark mentored a number of TV professionals who went on to become successful executives in numerous TV markets around the country.
Mark had gusto for life, being an avid gunman, chess player, wine connoisseur and pilot. He enjoyed shooting sporting clays, riding motorcycles, loud music, gourmet food, great wines, a fine cigar, dirty jokes, and a cocktail or two (or three!)…And of course being the life of the party by telling a story with incredible animation.
In addition to his parents, Mark was preceded in death by his brother Peter Knoop of Memphis, TN.
Mark is survived by his wife Margo Keasling-Conrad, with whom he would have celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary on April 1, 2022. He is also survived by his two daughters, Stacy Clarke (William) of St. John’s, FL and Kelly Zingelmann (Kurt) of Raleigh, NC, from his first marriage to Barbara Arrington, sisters Susan Lightbody (Tom) and Kiki Wilson both of Ocala, FL, as well as four beautiful grandchildren.
Per Mark’s request, there will be no service. Mark likely would have preferred you remember him with a toast or memory of one of his many stories. Memorials may be made in his memory to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital or to Living Savior Lutheran Church of Charlotte (livingsaviorlc.org).
Sue Lightbody says
Loved him ! Beautiful tribute , thanks Kelly
Kelly Bodiford says
I am so sorry for your loss. I never had the opportunity to meet Mark, but after reading Kelly’s sweet message, and this he seemed to be a bigger than life kind of man. My thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.
Bill Donovan says
I am saddened to learn of your fathers passing but so grateful for his magnificent legacy in you and now yours and Kurt’s children. I now know where you get your spirit from as well. It is comforting to know you shared such love and understanding for your dad. May the memories and the love you knew always comfort you. I am sending you my love and sympathies in the loss of your dad. His gift of you is beyond glorious!
Debbie and Tony Jarrett says
Tony and I send our heartfelt and deepest condolences to the entire family. May all the great memories of him be of comfort and peace and live forever in your hearts and souls. All our love to you…
Paul Quinn says
I am one of the many who Mark mentored. He supported me throughout the formative years of my television broadcasting career. We worked together at WBTV, and we’re business associates at Katz, WFBC, WLWT and WJZY. Mark was a smart, articulate, dedicated, hard working broadcast television professional. He recognized and promoted others who impressed him, leaving a legion broadcast sales and management executives who will be forever in his debt. My deepest sympathies to his family. May my good friend Rest In Peace.
Wanda Jarrett says
My heart goes out to Mark’s family after this sudden loss.
Kelly and Stacy, you reflect the best parts of your Dad. Take comfort in your good memories. I wish you love, peace and healing.
Thomas Schenck says
I’m another who Mark mentored. He believed in me and supported me unconditionally. I would not have achieved all of my success without him. He taught me a great deal of valuable skills in sales and leadership. Always be prepared, (and “dress better than the competition”!)
Mark was a highly skilled and dedicated broadcast executive.
I had the pleasure of watching his two beautiful daughters grow up. He loved them and Barbara dearly.
Mark was a very unique man. I will miss him terribly.
Sending love and prayers to his wife and the entire Conrad family.
I worked with Mark at the WJZY era of his career. He taught me so much.
I learned how to enjoy life as it would always change. I,m sure anyone who worked for him remembers, “While the Sun is shinning get a tan”. I’m a black female, what is he talking about.
No matter what your relationship with your parents, you miss them when they are gone. He loved his girls and Barbara and us in his own way. Thank you for putting this out there.
Boots Walker says
What can I say! What a mentor he was…..hiring me at WFBC/WYFF TV
as a sales rep ……he was strong and fair and that’s what I took thru my career……I just heard about this and even though we were not in touch in the last couple of years ….. I am so sad to lose wonderful man……RIP……love you….Boots
Carol Wonsavage says
Condolences to family and friends, but pride in a life of achievement. The local radio community, and certainly WBT-WBTV is stronger because of him.