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Illinois Public Media GM Leaving for Post at NET

Illinois Public Media's general manager, Mark Leonard, will leave the organization by August 1 to assume leadership at Nebraska Educational Telecommunications.

Mark Leonard, Illinois Public Media’s general manager, will be leaving the organization by August 1, 2013, to become the general manager and CEO for Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET), a statewide network of Nebraska’s PBS and NPR stations.

Leonard’s move to NET’s headquarters in Lincoln marks his first position at the helm of a statewide organization. NET has a satellite studio in Omaha.

“It is with mixed feelings that I leave Illinois Public Media, but the opportunity to lead NET offers exciting next steps for me,” Leonard said. “I take this position knowing that Illinois Public Media is well positioned to continue its success, including future opportunities to partner with the College of Media and with other units on campus as part of Chancellor Wise’s Visioning Excellence initiatives. In addition, I believe there are exciting possibilities for building deeper partnerships with WILL’s peer public radio and television stations throughout Illinois.”

Leonard arrived at Illinois Public Media in June 2007 from KCTS in Seattle. Prior to that, he held senior management positions in Seattle and Yakima, Wash., and at WXXI in Rochester, N.Y., where he was vice president for television.

Earlier this year, he received the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) 2013 National Advocacy Award for his exceptional efforts in furthering public television’s legislative goals. Leonard currently serves as president of the Illinois Public Broadcast Council, the association of all public television and radio stations in Illinois, as well as serving on the executive committee of the national University Licensees’ Association as well as a board member of the Public Media Business Association.

“With his unique vision, Mark has recreated public broadcasting while at Illinois Public Media, keeping it innovative as well as relevant,” College of Media interim dean Jan Slater said. “He is well respected among his colleagues across the country, so I am not surprised that he was sought out for the position at NET. It has been a great pleasure for me as both a department head and as interim dean to work with him, and I appreciate that he has always acted in the best interests of the College and the University.”

Slater said that discussions are already underway to determine the next steps in finding a new leader for IPM.