WVIK CEO Jay Pearce to retire

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Jay Pearce, CEO of WVIK in Rock Island, Ill., will retire at the end of the year. 


“I’ve done a lot over the years. It’s been a great career,” Pearce told Current. “But you know what? It’s time to play with grandchildren.”

Pearce will have worked in broadcasting for 49 years when he retires, with more than 10 years leading WVIK. Before joining the station, he spent more than a decade in leadership at Illinois Public Media in Urbana. Pearce’s term as a member director of the NPR board ends after the September meeting, he said.

WVIK also named Jared Johnson station manager. Johnson was previously director of development and community engagement. He has worked for the station since 2014. 


Pearce said the move to create the station manager role came out of work with Public Media Co. “As we worked with Public Media Company to strategize WVIK’s future, the need for someone to manage our finances and direct execution of our operational plan was emphasized,” he said in a press release. “Jared has demonstrated his ability to develop impactful partnerships and enhance revenue streams. And, through ongoing professional development, he has contributed significantly to our programming and audience development efforts on the air and through our growing portfolio of podcasts.”

“I’ve spent sixteen years working in the Quad Cities’ arts community and I’m honored to have this opportunity to work at such an important institution, right here in my hometown,” Johnson said in the release. 

Johnson told Current that the station hopes to have Pearce’s successor in place before his retirement.

Colleen Sibthorp, the station’s former director of finance and membership, recently left to become an accounting manager for Public Media Co

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