WATERLOO - After three and a half years at KWWL as its chief meteorologist, Ian Leonard has announced his resignation.

Leonard has accepted a chief meteorologist position in a Top 20 television market, which was not identified.

"I had no idea an opportunity to move to my dream job would take me away from the place I have called home for more than three years," said Leonard. "My family and I love the great strength and faith of the people who live here in eastern Iowa and all that this wonderful area has to offer, and that makes it hard to leave.

"It has been both an honor and a privilege to work with all of the very talented people at KWWL. I wish them continued success as they move forward into another 50 years of broadcasting excellence," he said.

Tom Allen, vice president and general manager of KWWL, said Leonard is a "talented meteorologist and broadcaster, and we wish Ian and his family the best in their new and exciting opportunity."

Beginning the week of Oct. 23, Leonard will broadcast the weather live each day from different parts of the viewing area, giving him a chance to say goodbye to some of the many viewers he's met during his time at KWWL.

His last day at the station will be Oct. 27.

A nationwide search for his replacement will begin immediately.

KWWL is the NBC-affiliated television station serving Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City and all of eastern Iowa. KWWL is a Quincy Newspapers Broadcast Group station; a family-owned company operating 12 television stations in seven states.

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