Leonard is NET’s new general manager

May 23rd, 2013 | By | Category: 2013, Employee News, Issue, May 23

Mark Leonard, general manager for Illinois Public Media, the public television and radio services of the University of Illinois in Urbana, was named general manager and chief executive officer of NET on April 30.

Leonard will start at NET on Aug. 1.

“Mark Leonard is the right fit for Nebraska and NET,” said Ken Bird, chair of the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications commission. “His professional background, positive and progressive attitude, and strong communication and leadership skills make him the perfect person to ensure NET maintains its important public broadcasting role at the state, regional and national levels.”

Leonard has worked at six public broadcast stations during his 32-year public broadcast career. He was chief administrative officer for KCTS Seattle; general manager for KYVE Yakima, Wash.; vice president for television at WXXI Rochester, N.Y.; and worked for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. He has served as producer and executive producer on many local, regional and national television productions, winning numerous industry awards including three Emmys, a CINE Golden Eagle, and five New York State Broadcasters Association awards.

Leonard is president of the Illinois Public Broadcasters Council, the association of all public television and radio stations in Illinois; a board member of the national University Licensee Association; a member of the Communications Advisory Committee for PBS; and a board member of the Public Media Business Association.

“Mark Leonard has built an excellent career that fully prepares him to lead NET,” said Ellen Weissinger, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. “He’s respected by the staff and constituents at his former stations and he is influential nationally.”

Leonard replaces Rod Bates, who retires June 30 after 18 years as NET’s general manager. Bates is only the second leader in the statewide public broadcasting network’s 59-year history. David Feingold, NET assistant general manager for content, is interim GM during July.

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