What Happened to Saline County's Only Radio Station KEWI-AM?

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Mar. 24, 2014 12:00 am  

“We tried to work everything out,” said Grant Merrill, who purchased KEWI-AM in 2011. In February, he left the station, and it was silenced. (Photo by Michael Pirnique)

It wasn’t the first time Merrill had left a station in disarray: Dan Storrs, current general manager of Hog Sports Radio, said when he took over for Merrill in July 2010, the station was “kind of in shambles,” though he declined to go into further detail.

More: Jeremy Hutchinson describes his new plans for KEWI.

Under New Management

Following Merrill’s departure from KEWI, a new ownership team has been brought in to repair the wreckage left behind.

And they have some noteworthy plans: FM broadcast, ESPN affiliation, St. Louis Cardinals games.

Hutchinson brought in Mike Wilkins, co-owner of Southwest Media LLC of Russellville, to buy the station out.

Pending FCC approval, the station’s license will pass to a new LLC called Saline County Broadcasting. Hutchinson and Arnold will continue to be members of the LLC.

Wilkins said the station is “being recapitalized,” and Hutchinson said negotiations are ongoing.

KEWI will become part of a network of sports stations that Wilkins owns including KYXK-FM, 106.9, of Gurdon and KWPS-FM, 99.7, of Caddo Valley. Hutchinson said the full network will reach around 600,000 listeners.

Andy Hodges will serve as the general manager of the station.

Wilkins said some of the station’s equipment will be upgraded.

“We’re putting in the latest, up-to-date, digital audio processing, which will improve the sound and clarity within its footprint,” he said. “It should extend the footprint a little bit.”



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