Jay Pearce, chief executive officer and general manager of Quad Cities NPR affiliate WVIK, will retire Oct. 28 after 11 years at the station. WVIK will host a reception in his honor from 4-7 p.m. on Oct. 25 at the station, 815 38th St., Rock Island.

Jay Pearce, CEO and general manager of WVIK, will retire Oct. 28, 2022 after a 49-year broadcasting career.

Listeners and admirers can share tributes by emailing info@wvik.org.

Augustana College has named Jared Johnson interim general manager, effective Oct. 29. Johnson, who joined WVIK in 2014 and previously served as station manager, will serve as interim general manager through the end of the year.

Tracy Singleton has begun guest hosting Morning Edition in anticipation of Pearce’s retirement. Singleton is a member of WVIK’s Community Advisory Board and has hosted radio programs on KALA for decades. She is also the executive director of the Lincoln Resources Center in Davenport.

Station manager Jared Johnson will be interim GM through the end of the year.

Pearce has worked in broadcasting for 49 years. Before embedding himself in the QC community as an advocate for local news, arts, and entertainment, he served as station manager and program director at WILL-AM/FM in Champaign, Ill., a part of Illinois Public Media.

Pearce also has served as a member of the NPR Board as a national representative of stations with similar reach to WVIK. His voice is most well-known across the listening area as WVIK’s host of “Morning Edition.”

“Even as CEO of WVIK, Jay never was far from serving on-air and preserving that connection with listeners,” W. Kent Barnds, executive vice president of external relations at Augustana, said in a Wednesday release.

During his tenure, Pearce was dedicated to expanding WVIK’s profile in the community, reflected in the expansion of local programming produced with partner organizations, including “The Cities” with WQPT, “River Way Stories” with River Action, and the “Echo Radio Hour” with Common Chord (formerly RME Radio Hour).

Pearce also helped usher WVIK into the digital age, launching WVIK HD2, 105.7 FM, the WVIK app, and a portfolio of locally produced podcasts: “Good Morning from WVIK,” “LOVE Girls: The Podcast” with LOVE Girls Magazine, “A Real Piece of Work” with Junior Achievement, and more. One podcast, “Suspect Convictions,” reached No. 2 in the national podcast rankings.

WVIK (90.3 FM) is licensed to and owned by Augustana College. The studios are located on Augustana’s campus in Rock Island. The station signed on for the first time on Aug. 25, 1980.