Allen spent his high school years at a seminary training to be a priest. Now, he’s serving people in a different way. He co-anchors the 6p weeknight newscasts and files special reports across all KPIX 5 platforms.
Martin exposed the Central Valley’s version of the Flint, Michigan water crisis when he discovered arsenic flowing through Kettleman City’s drinking water. He revealed poachers butchering Northern California’s majestic redwoods for profit. And, he uncovered a loophole in California’s assault rifle ban. His series of reports on the bullet button prompted California to introduce several gun control measures.
Allen started in broadcasting when, as a junior at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, he produced a radio talk show for KLOS. In his senior year he took a job as a disc jockey in Sacramento – flying up on the weekends to work and back for school during the week.
After graduating, he worked in radio news in Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
In 1983, he moved to Atlanta for a job at a news talk radio station. Allen was hired at CNN’s Radio network before taking a TV writing job at CNN’s Headline News.
In 1986, he accepted his first on-air TV job in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
“I had to sling the ¾ inch recording deck over one shoulder, a camera over the other while wearing a battery belt around my waist,” he says. “I remember wearing penny loafers while covering one big flood. I literally walked out of my shoes. You learn the hard way and then you don’t make those mistakes again.”
After five years and promotions to assistant news director and main anchor, Allen returned to his native California to be a principal anchor at the Salinas NBC affiliate. He was there four years, co-anchoring with the popular Dina Ruiz, who was married to Clint Eastwood.
Just after the Oklahoma City bombing, Allen accepted the main anchor position at KFOR in Oklahoma City.
“The story that really stands out for me was the six-month anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, the first terrorist attack on US soil,” he says. The truck bomb blast killed 168 people and injured hundreds more.
When he asked his news director why he got the assignment, he was told his fresh perspective might enable him to tell a better story. Allen was the first reporter to enter the Murrah Federal Building after the crime scene was opened to the media.
In 1998 Allen returned to California and the Monterey Peninsula to anchor and be the assistant news director for the CBS/FOX affiliate stations.
Six years later, he made his way to the Bay Area and KPIX 5. He started as a South Bay reporter and subsequently anchored various newscasts.
Besides anchoring, Allen enjoys interviewing and was one of seven local reporters invited to the White House to interview President Obama. He also excels at live reporting and brought viewers live never-before-seen images of the Presidio Parkway a day before it opened using Skydrone 5.
When he’s not at the anchor desk, Allen profiles some of the Bay Area’s quiet heroes as part of the Jefferson Awards, a national program that honors public service across America.
“The Jefferson Award stories are about good people doing good things for a good reason,” he says. “It’s an uplifting counterbalance to some of the bad news we have to cover on a daily basis.”
In addition to his broadcast journalism work, Allen has taught “Media and Crisis Communication” for the Department of Homeland Security. He also sits on the board of directors of “Boyhood Shadows Project” a non-profit that helps male victims of childhood sexual abuse.
Allen has won multiple Emmy Awards for his anchoring and reporting at KPIX, along with honors from the Associated Press Television Radio Association as well as the Oklahoma and Arkansas Association of Broadcasters.”
He enjoys fly fishing, remodeling projects, cycling, and spending time with his family.
Beats Rhymes and Life is an Oakland-based non-profit that combines hip-hop and rap with self-care.
Marin Medical Equipment Recyclers keeps very usable healthcare items out of the landfill in the homes of those who need them.
Often when a child enters the foster care system, he or she has nothing. So this week’s Jefferson Award winner decided to do something about that.
Six years ago, KPIX 5 was the first to expose a workaround in California’s gun laws that allowed military style rifles like AR-15’s to proliferate in the state.
When the fire chief of Windsor in Sonoma County retired seven years ago, he found a second career and, not surprisingly, it too was in public service. This week’s Jefferson Award winner, Ron Collier serves military veterans who’ve served their country but have been forgotten.
A Northern California family plagued with a mystery disease that claimed the lives of a dozen relatives finally has answers after specialists at the renowned Mayo Clinic recognized it as a rare hereditary disorder. Now the family is hoping to turn its legacy of heartache into hope for others with the disease.
Military personnel coming home from active duty can sometimes face big challenges getting back into ‘regular’ life. But this week’s Jefferson Award winners have found a way to help.
We’ve seen the crisis of homelessness spread throughout the Bay Area. But this week’s Jefferson award winner says doing something about it means looking at someone who is homeless as a person.. not a problem. Then, listen to their story in order to help them.
When an East Bay cultural center came to a crossroads, it reached out to two young women for leadership. Now that center is exanding and thriving. And the two leaders are this week’s Jefferson Award winners.
When Kent Wright retired ten years ago, he wanted to start volunteering. But he wasn’t quite sure where. A decade later, this week’s Jefferson Award winner knows that helping students with their writing skills has been the perfect fit.
At 20 years old, Joe Kelley of Novato has had more health scares than many people who live to be 90.
If you hike the Skyline Trail in the Berkeley Hills near Tilden Park, the view will astound you. But thanks to this week’s Jefferson Award winner Glen Schneider, it’s what is not there that has added to the beauty of this prized East Bay open space: invasive plants.
This week’s Jefferson Award winner was given a choice as a child: join little league or the Boys Club. He didn’t realize then, the choice he made would not only change his life, but the lives of countless other children in the future.
When a high school baseball player realized how few little league players were going on to play in high school, he took action. This week’s Jefferson Award winner created a non-profit baseball academy to help inspire young players and nurture their love of the game.
A live trivia game show app has become a daily addiction for a growing number cellphone users.
He looked nothing like the suspects’ descriptions but that didn’t stop S.F. police from forcibly arresting a man and searching his home for stolen iPhones while his wife sat on a sofa wrapped in a bath towel.
Finding care for a child with disabilities is, at the very least, challenging. So 45 years ago, when two Bay Area families decided to start a facility to care for their developmentally disabled family members and others, no one had any idea if it would work. This week’s Jefferson Award winner is living proof that it did work, and has been a huge success.
When Bay Area elementary schools started eliminating music programs decades ago, Carol Zilli decided to do something about it.
It is one thing to start a vegetable garden because you love to grow fresh, healthy food. But it is another thing to take all that food you have grown and give it away to those most in need.
For nearly three decades, Wayne Marzolf has made sure young people get the opportunities offered by the Alameda Boys and Girls Club.
A family that survived the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa went to San Francisco for a break, but instead they got their family photos stolen.
Very few schools today give students a chance to take a woodworking class. But at one small school in the Bay Area, every eighth grader looks forward to the time when they can pick up a block of wood, and make something with their own two hands. It’s all thanks to this week’s Jefferson Award winners.
A community on the peninsula is remembering three teenage friends killed in a rollover crash on Skyline Boulevard in San Mateo County.
Unlike the federal government, California wants you to know that Covered California open enrollment has begun and rates remain affordable.
When her son was diagnosed with a disability, a Bay Area woman found a way not only to help her son, but also help many other children with disabilities.
The cleanup of areas ravaged by the North Bay wildfires is going to take much longer than some may think, due to a number of hazardous conditions crews are facing.
This week’s Jefferson Award winner runs a small non-profit that’s helping people who need just a little to make a big difference.
When a neighbor said she wanted to help chronically ill children who were stuck in the hospital, this week’s Jefferson Award winner jumped in to help. She’s not a doctor or nurse, but she found a way to use her own expertise to make a difference.
Knowing that a simple act of kindness can change a person’s life inspired this week’s Jefferson Award winner to help low-income Bay Area seniors realize their dreams.
Starting a small business is hard enough. If you’re low income, a woman, and a minority, it might seem impossible. But this week’s Jefferson Award winner is helping such women achieve their goals everyday.
When their friends were dying of AIDS or being evicted from their homes, two friends decided to take on San Francisco’s housing crisis. Fourteen years later, not only are they helping AIDS survivors, their non-profit has expanded to help the entire LGBT community. And the pair are this week’s Jefferson Award winners.
Man who rode a motorcycle through a crowd of activists blocking a San Francisco street and protesting the GOP healthcare bill was detained.
At Wild Aid, it’s about the slogan: “When the buying stops, the killing can too.” Peter Knights co-founded the San Francisco non-profit in 2000 with the goal of saving endangered animals, starting with sharks, elephants, and rhinos.
A Bay Area college campus is helping students put food on the table.
Once a week, the homeless in Fremont line up for a free, hot meal courtesy of this week’s Jefferson Award winner.
Many young men might shy away from wearing a tie, especially to school. But this week’s Jefferson Award winner is sending a message that not only is wearing a tie cool, it can be the key to success.
It’s hard to imagine anything more difficult than seeing your child in the hospital. One man who had to endure that ordeal is working to make it a little easier for parents and children. This week’s Jefferson Award winner is doing it with the gift of music.
If life is like chess, Chris Major wants kids to learn the lessons early.
Many Californians take a day at the beach for granted. But others have never seen the ocean. This week’s Jefferson Award winners are working to make sure that city kids do experience the waves, while at the same time, learn some very valuable lessons.
Using donated fabric, needles, and thread, this week’s Jefferson Award winner has come up with a way to create little things that provide huge comfort. She does it for the love of sewing.. and the love of her community.