Mark Leonard has been named the new general manager and chief executive officer of NET and will start his new position August 1.
Leonard is currently the general manager of Illinois Public Media, the public television and radio services of the University of Illinois in Urbana. He has worked at six public broadcast stations in his 32-year public broadcasting career.
“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 will take over for general manager Rod Bates, who will retire June 30 after 18 years at the helm of NET. Bates is only the second leader in the statewide public broadcasting network's 59-year history.
“Mark Leonard has built an excellent career that fully prepares him to lead NET,” added Ellen Weissinger, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The position reports to Weissinger. “He’s respected by the staff and constituents at his former stations and he is influential nationally. Nebraskans will like Mark and will appreciate his genuineness and commitment to the state.”
David Feingold, NET assistant general manager for content, will serve as interim general manager during July.