Mal Walden’s career spans five decades in broadcasting and television. He started his media career in 1961 at Warrnambool radio station 3YB where he was a breakfast announcer for three years. From Warrnambool he moved across Bass Strait to Tasmania where he joined 7EX and later Channel 9, also in Launceston. Between 1966 and 1969 Mal was a general announcer and news reporter for Melbourne’s 3DB.
In 1969 he took a year off from the hectic media scene and backpacked around South East Asia and Europe spending six months on a kibbutz in Israel, where he produced his first radio documentary.
Mal returned to Melbourne in 1970 and joined HSV-7 where he hosted a number of shows, including the popular program Jeopardy. Later the next year he began a journalism cadetship with Seven. One of the highlights of Mal’s seven years as a reporter at the station was his scoop as the first reporter at the scene of Cyclone Tracey in Darwin in 1974.
In 1978 Mal became the first working journalist to be appointed a senior television presenter, a trend that has since been adopted by most other Networks. In April 1987 Mal not only read the news, he made the news. His public sacking from HSV7 by the Fairfax Sydney Television Group led to public protests, staff walkouts and a plunge in news ratings. His immediate move to the TEN Network saw a record news rating of 40 and so began an association with TEN.
At Network TEN Mal presented the news bulletin with David Johnston along with a new innovative segment called “Mal’s Melbourne” which covered a wide variety of human interest stories. This segment saw happy endings to many stories. In 1990 Mal presented the weekend news bulletin.
Another highlight of Mal’s career was covering the Melbourne bid for the Olympic Games from Tokyo – coverage praised by the Prime Minister himself.
In December 1995 Mal was appointed newsreader of Network Ten’s 5pm Melbourne News. In 2006 Mal became the longest continually serving face on Australian television and in June 2011 he celebrated 50 years in the Australian media.