Network news reporter shows her support for local radio station

Millions of viewers watch her all the time, but some people got to see the well known journalist up close and personal. ABC’s Cokie Roberts stopped by the Quad Cities for a special cause.

She’s a fixture on television, named one of broadcasting’s top 50 women in history. Cokie Roberts was in the Quad Cities on Thursday, March 27, 2014, for a cause very near and dear to her heart.

“I think public radio is a vital part of our American democracy and in many parts of the country its the only real communication that people have,” said Roberts.

WVIK, the Quad City area’s only NPR station serves more than 40,000 listeners each month and the dial’s being turned up.

“The listenership has continue to grow for public radio,” said Jay Pearce, the station’s manager.

It’s been a long road for WVIK, first on the air in 1981. The station moved to its current building at Augustana in 1997, but keeping it on the air is always a challenge. The station only receives 12 percent of it’s budget from the government. The rest comes from donations. Roberts came to town to lend her support for the cause.

“Cokie said I’d love to come and so after we all picked up our jaws up off the table, we were like wow this will be great,” said Pearce.

Besides her work on ABC, Roberts is also National Public Radio’s political reporter and she’s on the road doing whatever she can to fight for it’s future.

“I think it’s very important to have this kind of in-depth news and local news,” said Roberts.

After speaking to students earlier on in the day, the fundraiser was held at Hotel Blackhawk. No word yet on how much money was raised.

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