MOLINE, IL -- Mary Pruess, former president and general manager of WNIT in South Bend/Elkhart, IN, has been named the director of WQPT-Quad Cities Public Television at Western Illinois University, effective April 22, according to Joe Rives, vice president of the Quad Cities and planning at WIU.

She replaces Rick Best, who retired in June 2012. Jamie Lange, who has been serving as the station's interim general manager, will resume her work as WQPT's chief development officer.

Pruess served as the president and general manager of WNIT from 2002-2012. Previously, she was the chief content officer and general manager from 2001-2002 and as vice president (public television services) and station manager from 1993-2001 for WHRO in Norfolk; deputy director of TRAC Media (1991-1993); CEO of the Public Television Programmers' Association (1991-1993); a consultant (1988-present); program manager of KUHT-TV in Houston, TX (1988-1991); and served in numerous managerial positions at KAET-TV in Phoenix, AZ (1977-1988). Pruess has also held director and manager positions at KICR Radio at the University of Iowa.

"We welcome Mary to Western Illinois University. Her professional experience will serve WQPT and the University well. Mary's expertise in public broadcasting and community outreach will further enhance WQPT's outstanding level of service to the region," Rives said. "Rick Best, Jamie Lange and the rest of the staff have set a high bar for continued increases in local programming, community service and successful fundraising. It will be an exciting time as WQPT further enhances Western's contributions to the residents of western Illinois and eastern Iowa."

Pruess has taken graduate courses in public administration from Old Dominion University. She earned her bachelor's degree in liberal arts from Excelsior College (formerly Regents College of the University of the State of New York). She also holds certificates in executive fund development and non-profit management from the University of Notre Dame.