Veteran Peoria General Manager Mark DeSantis has announced he is retiring from WEEK-TV. Mark has been Vice President and General Manager of WEEK-TV for more than 23 years, the last 5 years with Quincy Media after the acquisition of SP Granite in 2015. Before joining WEEK, Mark was with Gannett for 13 years as Creative Services Director for WUSA and later as VP/Programming for KARE-TV in Minneapolis. He has enjoyed a 40-year broadcasting career. WEEK is the ratings leader in Peoria and dominant news operation. During Mark’s tenure as VP/GM, WEEK has expanded local news by adding a full slate of local news time periods to “HOI” (Heart of Illinois), the multicast ABC affiliate of WEEK.
Mark holds a B.A. in Communications/Radio, TV, Film Communications from Northern Illinois University. Mark is a community and industry leader. He is the past Chairman of the Illinois Broadcasters Association, past board member of St. Jude’s Hospital/Midwest Affiliate, past board member of the Crittenton Crisis Nursery and is currently a board member of the United Way of Central Illinois and the CEO Council for Economic Development in Peoria.
“Mark has a long and distinguished track record, particularly with WEEK-TV, that is filled with many business successes and contributions to the communities being served by the station. He has had a great career and we wish him all the best as he turns this new page. We are grateful for his service.” said Quincy RVP Jim McKernan.
WEEK has produced and aired the St. Jude Telethon for the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate for the past 40 years. The event raises $10M annually. The station also partners with the St. Jude Dream Home, Race for the Cure, Peoria Promise, Junior Achievement of Central Illinois, and the Crittenton Crisis Center. WEEK recognizes 25 Women in Leadership Awards at an annual luncheon each year.
“I have enjoyed every minute of my time at WEEK-TV and in the broadcast industry to include working with some of the best in the business”, said DeSantis. It has been my honor to serve with a talented and dedicated staff and truly great management team. We are particularly proud of our track record of rating and revenue success at WEEK, as well as the more recent growth on the ABC side. I thank Quincy Media for the incredible investment in this great broadcast facility to help make that possible. That work is now done, and I’m ready for the next chapter in my life.”
WEEK has won numerous broadcasting awards during Mark’s tenure with Quincy Media, including two regional Murrows, multiple Emmys and multiple first place AP awards along with many awards from the Illinois Broadcasters Association.
Mark and the Quincy Media team have made significant improvements to the station, including a building/studio/technical renovation which have made WEEK a state-of-the-art broadcasting facility and a destination workplace.
Quincy Media Regional Vice President Jim McKernan will assume General Manager duties on February 1, 2021. Mark will serve in a management advisory role through June 4, 2021.