Bresnahan Picked As New CEO of Illinois Public Media and WTVP
By Jim Meadows
Illinois Public Media and Peoria public television station WTVP will continue to share a president and CEO --- with the joint appointment of Maurice “Moss” Bresnahan to the position at both operations.
The appointment of Bresnahan continues an arrangement that began last year, when Illinois Public Media (which operates Urbana-based WILL Radio and TV) appointed longtime WTVP CEO Chet Tomczyk to serve as head of both organizations concurrently. Now that Tomczyck is retiring from both positions, the two public media organizations are continuing the arrangement with the hiring of Bresnahan.
Bresnahan served five years as the CEO of Seattle public TV station KCTS, stepping down in 2013. He said the new job with both WTVP and WILL presents “fascinating” opportunities for collaboration.
“Both WILL and WTVP have such a great legacy and such wonderful community support, that by working together, I think they can become even stronger stations, both in the way they continue to serve the community, but also in their financial stability,” said Bresnahan.
In a joint news release, officials with both Illinois Public Media and WTVP stressed that the two broadcasters continue to be separate entities, but ones committed to collaboration.
“What has evolved is a tremendous partnership – between leadership, between the stations and the staffs,” said Joe Stupek, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Illinois Valley Public Telecommunications Corporation, which oversees WTVP. “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.”
“This partnership is groundbreaking,” said Jan Slater, Dean of the University of Illinois College of Media, which oversees Illinois Public Media. “We’re not merging two stations. We’re keeping their strong local identity, but creating stronger public media through that. 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.
At KCTS, Bresnahan is credited with creating a content division that garnered 20 Emmy nominations, launching Reel NW, an independent film series and building partnerships in a viewing area that extends from western Washington State into British Columbia.
Prior to working at KCTS, Bresnahan worked in the top management spots at North Carolina ETV, public television station WVPT in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and public TV stations WQPT and KQCT in the Quad Cities. Since leaving KCTS, Bresnahan has worked as a consultant at his own firm, Insight Public Media, specializing in public broadcasting, nonprofit agencies, foundations and higher education.