Mark Keohane

Mark Keohane

Mark Keohane is a South African journalist with an extensive history in South African and international media, concentrating predominantly on sports. He currently works for HSM (Highbury Safika Media) as a publishing director, with a main focus on commercial contracts (1).

Personal information
Mark Keohane was born on 6 June 1968 in Cape Town, South Africa (1). He grew up and was schooled in Durbanville (1). His father, originally from England, was self-employed and his mother, a New Zealander, worked as a nurse (1). Keohane did not attend university (1). Having previously lived in England as well as New Zealand, he currently resides in Cape Town with his wife, South African writer and journalist, Karin Schimke, and his son and daughter, Oliver and Julia (2). On what inspired his widespread journalistic accomplishments, Keohane writes: “People inspire me, especially those who get up after a stumble. Everyone has a fight in them and it is the fight that I find inspirational because I know that society restricts so much when it comes to what is possible. We are restricted by what has been achieved instead of inspired of what can be achieved. I believe in colours more than numbers as I find the latter subconsciously limits evolvement, while nothing can limit one’s search for a colour that gives you a sense of satisfaction. Anyone who believes in the future of newspapers also inspires me because I can’t imagine a world without a quality newspaper.” (1)

Career information
Mark Keohane began freelancing in Cape Town when he was 15 and was first published at this age (1). He worked for the Cape Argus as a fulltime sports reporter before writing for Sunday Star Times in New Zealand (1). He then travelled to London and worked there as a subeditor and freelance writer for the Daily Mail (1). When he returned to South Africa, he became a rugby writer for Business Day and then a sports writer for SA Sports Illustrated (1). From there he was offered a rugby writing job at the Cape Times (1). He became a freelancer again, working for RugbyNet (the forerunner to SuperRugby), SA Rugby magazine, SA Sports Illustrated and a variety of magazines in the United Kingdom, France, New Zealand and Australia (1). He has also done talkback radio on Cape Talk and Talk Radio 702 (1). When Keohane started working for SARFU (South African Rugby Football Union) he was a media advisor (1). He was then promoted to the position of Springbok’s Communications Manager in 2000 (2). In 2003, he resigned in a protest over racism in the Springbok team (1). Keohane now works as a publishing director for Highbury Safika Media (HSM), an independent magazine publisher of 28 magazine titles (1).

Recognitions and awards
In 2008, SAB (South Africa’s Breweries Limited) hosted their 28th Sports Journalist of the Year awards (3). Mark Keohane won Sports Journalist of the Year as well as Sports Feature Writer of the Year, in the category of print and internet, for writing in Independent Newspapers and on Independent Online (4). Under the same category, he also won Sports Event/Live Match Reporter of the Year for writing in Independent Newspapers along with Mike Greenway who received merit for this award (4). Keo.co.za, the South African rugby blog created by Keohane, has won best sports blog at South African Blog Awards for the consecutive years of 2005 to 2009 (1). It was also voted the most popular South African blog by Amatomu, a blog search engine focusing on South African blogs (5). Keohane’s books, Chester, Springbok Rugby: Uncovered, Champions of the World, Monty Illustrated and Monty, all reached the top of the bestseller list (1).

Other professional activities
In 2003, Keohane launched the blog Keo.co.za, an online partner to SA Rugby magazine and SA Cricket magazine, and became a rugby writer (1). He sold his blog to HSM in 2006, but still frequently contributes to the blog, giving his insight and opinion on rugby as well as writing a weekly blog newsletter, providing thoughts on global rugby and answering subscriber’s questions (6). Keohane covered the 2003 Rugby World Cup for Independent Newspapers, SA Rugby magazine and Keo.co.za. He is also the author of five books (7). Chester, published in 2002, Springbok Rugby: Uncovered, published in 2004, Champions of the World, published in 2007, and Monty as well as Monty Illustrated, both published in 2008 (8). He also oversaw John Smit’s autobiography (1). He has launched two magazines, Business Day Sport Monthly and Foschini Sports Club (1). He has also set up a consultancy business with Jake White, called Jake White’s Winning Way (1).

References:

Primary Sources
(1): Interview with Mark Keohane via e-mail between 12 and 19 October 2009.

Secondary Sources
(2): keo.co.za. 2009. Sign Monty Autobiography. Retrieved 17 October 2009 from http://shop.keo.co.za/index.php?route=product/product&keyword=monty&product_id=51
(3): SAB. 2009. Sports Journalist of the Year Awards. Retrieved 17 October 2009 from http://www.sabsportsjourno.co.za/
(4): SAB. 2009. Sports Journalist of the Year Awards: Past Winners. Retrieved 17 October 2009 from http://www.sabsportsjourno.co.za/index.php?page=past_winners_2008
(5): ZoomInfo. 2009. Mark Keohane. Retrieved 17 October 2009 from http://www.zoominfo.com/Search/ReferencesView.aspx?PersonID=88083340
(6): keo.co.za. 2009. About. Retrieved 17 October 2009 from http://www.keo.co.za/about/
(7): keo.co.za. 2009. Champions of the World Signed by Mark Keohane and Jake White. Retrieved 17 October 2009 from http://shop.keo.co.za/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=54
(8): Book Depository. 2009. Book Results for Mark Keohane. Retrieved 17 October 2009 from http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/search?searchTerm=Mark+Keohane

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