WILL Pressroom

IPM’s Mark Leonard Receives Advocacy Award


Illinois Public Media General Manager Mark Leonard was recognized Feb. 25 for his exceptional efforts in furthering public television’s legislative goals, but he credited WILL listeners and viewers with most of the hard work.

The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) presented Leonard with the 2013 National Advocacy Award for his exceptional efforts in furthering public television’s legislative goals. The National Advocacy Award recognizes an individual who exemplifies effective advocacy on behalf of public television.

“Mark Leonard is a tireless advocate for public broadcasting, and he was particularly committed in 2012 to mobilizing grassroots supporters through the 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting campaign, as well as engaging grasstop level supporters through the APTS Leadership Council,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. “Mark has been an articulate, consistent and effective advocate for Illinois Public Media and the entire public broadcasting system.”

Leonard said it wasn't hard advocating for a service that he believes in in so deeply. “We worked very hard to get out the message regarding threats to public media funding, but the real work was done by the users of our service who came so strongly to our defense,” Leonard said.

Under Leonard’s leadership, Illinois Public Media has been the recipient of numerous industry awards, including being named the outstanding development program among all PBS member stations for 2009.

In a 32-year public broadcast career, Leonard has worked at six public broadcasting stations. He was chief operating office for KCTS Seattle, general manager for KYVE Yakima, and vice president for television at WXXI Rochester. 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’ awards.

Leonard currently serves as the president of the Illinois Public Broadcast Council, the association of all public television and radio stations in Illinois, as well as serving as a board member of the national University Licensees’ Association.

Butler concluded: “We are honored to give Mark the National Advocacy Award this year. He is richly deserving of this recognition for his hard work and dedication to public broadcasting.”

The National Advocacy Award was presented to Leonard during The APTS Public Media Summit on Monday, February 25.