June 3, 2023

Promotion in Peoria: Leon Hendricks named WEEK-TV news director

PEORIA (INBA) – Peoria’s 25 News Assistant News Director, Leon Hendricks, was promoted to News Director of WEEK-TV this week.

WEEK-TV houses two separate local affiliates: 25 News and Heart of Illinois ABC. Hendricks will manage both news teams under one roof.

Hendricks is a Chicago native, but has lived in central Illinois for more than 20 years. Throughout that time, he’s worked as a news photographer, promotion producer, newscast producer, assignment manager, and assistant news director.

In a statement to the INBA, Hendricks said, “It’s an honor to lead a newsroom I grew up in. I have been a part of serving our viewers fair and unbiased news coverage for more than 20 years and plan to continue as long as I can.”

Hendricks is a graduate of Illinois State University, where he was heavily involved in TV-10. He’s also worked in communications for Caterpillar, as well as news operations in Rockford and the Quad Cities.

In a news release form WEEK-TV the station said Hendricks has been part of earning several Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Domes, Illinois Associated Press Awards, a News Emmy and Regional Edward R Murrow honors.   

WEEK-TV has been owned and operated by Quincy Media for about the past five years. At the start of 2021, it was announced that Gray Television would purchase the station.

Aaron Eades

As a student, it's often difficult to picture what working in the real world will be like. For me, the INBA bridged that gap by giving me the chance to talk to professionals who used to be in the same shoes I'm in now.

Jennifer Fuller

INBA is not only a great networking tool, it also provides advocacy and support for journalists in an ever-changing world.

Molly Jirasek

One of my top goals in my career was to get to Chicago. Thanks to INBA I met Margaret Larkin. She remembered our great conversations about Chicago and first alerted me to a job opening in the city I might be interested in. Lo and behold, I got that job! INBA helped me reach my dream.

Andrew Tanielian

INBA taught me how to network in a meaningful way. The scholarship process taught me how to endure a hard job interview and thrive.

Bob Roberts

INBA is as much about friendship and as it is about achieving common goals. It provides two things individual newsrooms cannot: in-service training, and the ability to speak out on issues affecting the profession. But most of all, it brings newspeople together.

Jeff Bossert

When I was working in radio for the first time, I had no idea whether I could truly handle the demands. But INBA made me curious and want to improve. Even now, when I’ve maybe worked a lot of hours or planned some stories that didn’t come together for one reason or another, what I learn from an INBA conference gets me re-invigorated about the business.

Alexis McAdams

INBA played a huge part in preparing me for my broadcasting career. The INBA conventions connect students with on-air talent and news directors who give feedback on now to improve your work. Through relationships I made at those conventions, I was able to obtain my first on air reporting job.

Michelle Eccles McLaughlin

INBA is an organization that really caters to continuing education for professionals. It offers a relatively inexpensive way to learn new things, reinforce best practices and network.

Mike Miletich

Joining the INBA was one of my best life decisions. I met some of the best broadcast journalists while I was still a college student. Plus, I ended up getting a job through the connections I made!

Brian O'Keefe

One of the greatest benefits for me has been getting to see and know other parts of the state. I’m not from Illinois and traveling to spring and fall conventions over the years has transformed dots on a map to memories of places that enhance my story telling process.

Ryan Denham

I recently attended my first INBA conference—and it won’t be my last. The combination of professional and student journalists learning together is electric. Everyone learns from each other and walks away with new friends (and LinkedIn connections). I know I did.

Nora Baldner

The support INBA gives to student journalists is vitally important as we all discover how technology is changing news dissemination, INBA monitors and actively encourages truth, transparency and accountability from students and their universities.

Leave a Reply