The College of Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and WTVP, Public Media for Central Illinois, announce today that Maurice “Moss” Bresnahan will join the teams at WILL and WTVP. He will serve as President and CEO of both entities starting in September 2014.
Bresnahan brings with him extensive experience in public media serving in senior leadership roles with a variety of licenses in small and major market stations across the country. He has also been active in a number of public media and community associations. Most recently he was President and CEO of KCTS-TV, which serves over 2.7 millions viewers in Western Washington and British Columbia. Bresnahan is no stranger to Illinois. “My first job in public media was in the Quad Cities!” he said.
The joint management agreement between WILL and WTVP began in the fall of 2013. A novel position, the cooperative executive leadership arrangement was designed to increase collaboration between the stations, benefiting the audiences and communities they serve. Under the leadership of current WTVP President and CEO Chet Tomczyk, who is scheduled to retire in August, this arrangement has been a success.
“We have two great stations here and the staff at each is so dedicated and has such a great legacy,” Bresnahan said. “With the changing media marketplace and the digital world I think we’re in a great position to work together to really meet the new demands of public service that go along with public broadcasting; to find the efficiencies and strategies that can make public broadcasting more sustainable and more vital in these communities.”
Joe Strupek, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Illinois Valley Public Telecommunications Corporation, the governing body of WTVP added, “I’m excited about the possibilities. This isn’t about WTVP or WILL, it’s about central Illinois and providing educational and entertainment content and connectivity through public media and how we can take the next step to further connect with our audiences.”
“This was a complete unknown. We went into this not knowing what would or could happen. What has evolved is a tremendous partnership—between leadership, between the stations and the staffs. The next unknown was, would we be able to find someone who could take the idea we had and take it the next step? We are thankful to find in Moss the individual who will be able to do that, who can take that step.”
College of Media Dean Jan Slater said, “Moss has a lot of experience in public broadcasting from all avenues. More importantly he really gets public media and what the mission is. He’s seen it evolve and is committed to what it can be.”
“This partnership is groundbreaking. We’re not merging two stations. We’re keeping their strong local identity, but creating stronger public media through that," she said. "For a university licensee and a community licensee to be able to do the things we’ve done in a short amount of time has been more than we could have imagined. With this kind of momentum, we are thrilled about what the future holds."