Mark is a novelist, screenwriter, and communications consultant. A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, he attended Phillips Exeter Academy and graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 1971 with a degree in history. In 1985–86 he was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Ethridge began his career as a reporter or the Associated Press, worked as a reporter and editor at The Charlotte Observer and was managing editor from 1979 to 1988. He played a key role in the newsroom’s two Pulitzer Prizes for Public Service – for an investigation of brown lung disease and for the PTL scandal.
From 1989 to 1998, Ethridge was president and publisher of The Business Journal of Charlotte. In 1998, Ethridge became president and part-owner of The Cotter Group, which became a part of Clear Channel Communications in 2000. He was president of Carolina Parenting, Inc. which publishes Charlotte Parent magazine and the parenting magazines in Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point and Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill from 1990-2014.