PEORIA — Peoria's public television station is looking for a new president and chief executive officer.

Moss Bresnahan, who has held shared CEO responsibilities for WTVP, Channel 47, as well as at Champaign's WILL-TV and two radio stations there, will leave his WTVP post and continue in the other roles.

Station staff were told Monday afternoon a regional search for a Peoria-based CEO would be kicking off, said Andrew Rand, who is chairman of the station's board of directors.

Lack of media experience — or work in public television — won't sink a candidate, he said.

The ideal candidate, Rand said, will also be "someone who can reconnect with our partners in central Illinois," making past fundraising experience a plus.

The position description emphasizes a candidate "must excel primarily at community engagement, fundraising and partnership building."The partnership with WILL helped to "max out the stability in operations" at the Peoria station, Rand said. But, he said, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting actually reduces funds flowing to stations that have joint leadership.

Rand said the station will continue to work with WILL on some services. Staff at the Champaign station handle some programming work for WTVP, while in Peoria, "we leverage our studio and production capacity for them," he said. "... It's of mutual benefit to the organization."

Bresnahan said he considered the possibility of a merger between the two stations over the past few years. WTVP is a community-owned 501(c)(3) and WILL-TV is part of the University of Illinois. In the end, WTVP felt it was important to maintain its independence and local control, he said.

"WTVP is the only locally owned TV station in the region, and the board and staff are mindful of how important that is to this community. We can still find efficiencies and scale through the existing partnership," said Bresnahan.

"I believe WTVP has incredible potential for growth and deserves a full-time executive with roots in the community," he said.

Bresnahan will stay on board until a successor is chosen and will then work with that person during their transition and orientation, Rand said.

A search committee of at least seven members will review resumes after the March 25 deadline for submitting them. WTVP board member Stephen Morris will chair that committee.