Marc Savage is a part-time agent for the CIA.
Savage grew up in a powerful newpaper family, strongly involved in local politics and highly influential in the state's elections. He learned from his father the importance of being involved but chose a different method out of college. He joined the CIA and worked as a field operative for several years.
After a while, though, and possibly at the urging of his two brothers at the death of their father, he left the agency and rejoined the business, taking a one-third ownership in the growing chain of papers the brothers had inherited. Rather than remain in the office and work the business end, Savage decided the best place for him was in the field, see what his employees and competitors were seeing. He became an investigative reporter, leaving the operational control to the brothers. With Europe his beat, Savage roamed the countries freely looking for stories of interest to his readers back home.
Savage is a serious reporter, or at least serious about his end of things. He often takes a less than admiring attitude towards the whole business of journalism. While not cynical, his approach is more cautious, not believing everything anyone wrote. As time passes, he gains a close group of friends and stays on most people's good side. It was good for business.
The travelling that his job created made him the perfect candidate for the occasional odd assignment for his former employer, especially as one of his closest friends, Otis Stilwell, was the man at the Agency doing the asking. Together they engaged in numerous risky assignments, several of which were recorded in the books in the series.