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)

He said some of the clauses of Merrill’s contract that were intended to maintain financial control were compromised.

“We feel like some contractual things may have been breached. We are going to pursue it from that angle.”

Arnold said he believes Merrill’s mishandling of the station’s money may go beyond the management of the station, and may result in litigation.

“We’re considering a lawsuit on this one,” Arnold said. “We’re not usually people to sue. We realize there’s a lot of risk in any kind of startup. But this was an existing business … there was less risk.”

No suit had been filed last week.

“We are excited about the new plan,” Arnold said. “We think the new partners have more financial … stability and accountability going forward. They’re a lot more sound about it. But we are partly to blame on this.”

“I’m excited as an owner who’s been through rough times,” Hutchinson said. “For Saline County and the people who’ve grown up listening to this station, the only station in Saline County, the fact that we’ll be able to continue and improve that history and legacy is exciting.”

As for Merrill, he’s still operating Saline247.com, a site for local Saline County news. In February, he registered the domain name Sequoyah247.com for a similar service in Sequoyah County, Okla. The site currently says its content is “coming soon.”

Merrill told Arkansas Business that he feels he’ll be “vindicated” of any of the accusations made against him.

“We tried to work everything out,” he said. “Outside of that, I wouldn’t have any comment, other than the fact that we tried to do things right.”

Update: Merrill's Response

Arkansas Business received more from Merrill on Saturday, after this story had gone to press but before it was widely distributed. Below is his full response:

 

 

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