WLIL Staying At Home
|For the last six months it has looked like Loudon
County's oldest radio station, WLIL, was going to be leaving us. But
through the efforts of one man, Glen Mcnish, that may now not happen. If
you have been out and about in Loudon County in the last few months,
chances are you have been approached by the "voice" of WLIL about
signing a petition that was hoped to persuade the FCC to keep the radio
station here at home.
WLIL, 730 on your AM dial, went on the air nearly fifty-seven years ago and for the last forty-one years Mcnish has been the expected voice of the station. For forty of his forty-one years Glen has been bring us the play by play of Lenoir City Panther sports, weather, news and up to the minute election results.
Glen's one man crusade may have paid off. After submitting more than a thousand signatures to the FCC in hopes to dissuade their approval of the sale of the station, the FCC failed to take any action on the requested sale by the end of the year, effectively preventing the sale and ultimate relocation of the station to Knoxville. According to Mcnish, there is a major trend through out the country for the bigger stations to swallow up the smaller independent stations.
WLIL was sold by the family of the late Arthur Wilkerson back in 2000 to BP Broadcasters and has continued to broadcast locally. If the sale of the station by BP Broadcasters to Progressive Media had gone through, the operation would have been moved to Knoxville.
With the sale of BP to Progressive effectively dead a new offer has been made to buy the station. According to the FCC web site, Fowlers Holdings LLP, Don Fowler of Fowler Furniture Company, has made application to the FCC to purchas the station for $500,000.00. The FCC is expected to approve the application in late February. If approved the station will remain in Loudon County with no interruption in operations. However if the deal does go through the station will be relocating to a new yet unnamed facility in the County. Mcnish will no longer be broadcasting "from the banks of beautiful Town Creek."
Mcnish stated "I know I'm not going to be around forever, I worked hard to preserve our local station so that future generations can grow up and enjoy having a local radio station just like I did."