Radio legend Ed Brantley joins Merle 96.7

ZZ Ed Brantley 2By Phil Jarnagin

 

Merle 96.7 (WMYL/Knoxville) today announced the addition of Ed Brantley. Ed brings four decades of leadership in East Tennessee radio and is a member of The Knox County Commission. Merle FM managing partner Ron Meredith said, “We couldn’t be more pleased to have Ed Brantley at Merle FM. He has extensive experience and success in all aspects of country music radio and will help this company grow a great deal in every facet of our operation.”

“Merle FM is a high-quality operation from the ground up,” said Brantley. “Merle sounds great and it keeps strong relationships within the community among both listeners and advertisers. I am excited to begin working with the staff using the knowledge, experience, and relationships formed over the years and help move Merle FM to the next level. I’m honored at the warm welcome here and ready to get started.”

Brantley’s opportunities at Merle will include consulting on all departments within the station including programming, community relations, and advertising sales. He was on the air at WIVK for 27 years, being voted #1 afternoon radio personality in America and later became its sales manager and general manager. He managed five stations overseeing a staff of more than one hundred with annual revenues of eight figures. He became General Manager and morning show host at WNOX where he dealt daily with the needs of the people of Knox County and East Tennessee. Ed started Coats for the Cold, and The Knoxville Award and has served United Way, Boys and Girls Clubs, and Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service and others.

Merle FM 96.7 signed on in 2007. It is now the highest rated and most successful locally-owned radio station in the Knoxville market. With the addition of afternoon drive host now partner Jack Ryan in 2012 Merle FM accelerated the climb to the top of Knoxville’s Radio market. Now, with the addition of Ed Brantley, the Merle FM staff will have more than 150 years of combined broadcasting experience and will work to become Knoxville’s number one radio station. Merle FM was nominated Station of The Year by The Academy of Country Music in 2012 along with Jack Ryan as Air Personality of The Year. Its Big D and Bubba morning show recently won Air Personality of The Year and will receive its award next month in Dallas at The ACM Awards Show.

Meredith also owns WYSH AM 1380/FM 101.1 in Clinton. WYSH is Anderson County’s top-rated radio station, reaching half-again more Anderson Countians than the next highest rated Knoxville station. He has hosted WYSH’s Country Club Morning Show for over 25 years of that station’s 55 year history. Ron is an active supporter of Anderson County and its public initiatives as part of his role as owner of WYSH. He was a key supporter of Stan Brock’s Remote Area Medical efforts in the area.

“I’ve been blessed,” says Meredith on the station format he designed, “There are a lot of people that like Blake Shelton but still want to hear Willie Nelson. They tune in. They like what they hear, and they stay. I’m honored that so many great people want to be a part of it.”

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