Nebraska Public Media CEO Mark Leonard announces retirement

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Mark Leonard, GM and CEO of Nebraska Public Media, announced plans Thursday to retire.


Leonard’s retirement is effective June 30. The search for Nebraska Public Media’s next GM will begin in 2024.

“We are grateful for and proud of the incredible work that Mark has done during his tenure at Nebraska Public Media,” said Nicholas Baxter, chair of the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission, in a news release. “His contributions have strengthened the network, and his work will support the future success of the organization. We wish Mark well while acknowledging that we will miss his valuable leadership and insights.”

Leonard is only the third GM in Nebraska Public Media’s 70-year history. He joined the organization in 2013.

During his tenure, Leonard helped push for the creation of Speaking of Nebraska, a news and public affairs television series. The station also started “On the Road,” a series of listening sessions where Nebraska Public Media presents its programs to community members and local leaders.

With Leonard at the helm, the organization established Nebraska Public Media Labs, a research and development division focused on emerging media that collaborates with University of Nebraska at Lincoln students who study at the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts. The station also increased collaborations, working with the Midwest Journalism Hub, Report for America and America Amplified.

“Nebraska Public Media is a leader in our industry, particularly in innovation and content creation,” Leonard in the release. “Having worked at numerous public media entities, I can confidently say this has been my most rewarding experience and an appropriate pinnacle for my public media career.”

Before Nebraska Public Media, Leonard worked as GM of Illinois Public Media. He was also chief administrator for KCTS in Seattle and VP of television at WXXI in Rochester, N.Y., and he held videographer roles for South Dakota Public Broadcasting and Mountain Lake PBS in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

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