KAWC of Yuma is joining the Arizona Public Radio network as part of an agreement between Arizona Western College in Yuma and Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

KAWC, which broadcasts at 88.9 FM and 1320 AM, becomes the eighth station in the Arizona Public Radio network. KNAU is the flagship station of the Arizona Public Radio network.

Dave Riek, KNAU’s network operations manager, will assume the duties of KAWC station manager as an executive-on-loan. He replaces longtime KAWC General Manager Frank Preciado, who retired in December. Riek has been with KNAU for more than two decades in a variety of capacities. “Our goal is to bring the highest quality of public service broadcasting to the Yuma audience,” Riek said.

The agreement, which became effective Jan. 2, also calls for KNAU to assist KAWC staff in implementing fund-raising practices, including pledge drives, enhancing membership and underwriting capabilities. KNAU will work with KAWC to analyze its program lineup and conduct audience research to determine whether changes are necessary.

KAWC will retain an autonomous news department, though news content from the Arizona Public Radio network will be made available. Joint projects, such as special public affairs programs, will be explored.

“Arizona Public Radio has done a wonderful job of reaching out to the entire northern Arizona community,” NAU President John Haeger said. “This joint agreement allows both NAU and KNAU to further develop into truly statewide institutions.”

Don Schoening, president of Arizona Western College, said he is excited about the partnership and the opportunity for joint programming. “KAWC is firmly entrenched and well received in our communities,” he said, “and we look forward to this opportunity to enhance its quality, fund raising, and comprehensiveness.”

Arizona Public Radio reaches listeners with NPR news, classical music, talk and entertainment programming with transmitters in Flagstaff, Prescott, Page, Show Low, Grand Canyon, Kingman, and now Yuma. Arizona Public Radio is also rebroadcast on public radio stations in Hotevilla and Tuba City.