|City of license||Lenoir City, Tennessee|
|Broadcast area||Knoxville, Tennessee|
|Branding||The Legendary AM 730|
|Slogan||East Tennessee's Country Classics|
|First air date||May 27, 1950|
|ERP||1,000 watts day
214 watts night
|Owner||Fowlers Holdings Lllp|
WLIL has been "serving east Tennessee since 1950." Arthur Wilkerson, who worked in construction, traveled a lot. One day he was working in Louisville, Kentucky and could see inside a radio station from where he was working. Finding that interesting, he went to the station after work and sat in the audience of live broadcasts. Wilkerson pondered whether his home town of Lenoir City, Tennessee could support a radio station. In 1949 he applied for a license, and WLIL-AM went on the air at 730, a clear channel, on May 27, 1950, with 1000 watts during the day.
Although few people had FM radios, Wilkerson also applied for an FM station at 100.3. In 1956, WSM in Nashville, Tennessee closed its FM station, and Wilkerson did the same, believing that if such a big station couldn't succeed, he had no chance.
Knoxville got its first FM station in 1966, and Wilkerson realized he may have made a mistake. WLIL-FM signed on at 93.5 in 1967.
In addition to his radio station, Wilkerson owned a lumber mill and built custom homes. He served as president of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters. He was also a pilot and he ran a restaurant.
After Wilkerson died in 1998, BP Broadcasters purchased the station.
In 2006, Progressive Media, owner of WIFA, purchased WLIL from BP Broadcasters LLC. BP kept the FM station, which had simulcast the AM through its entire history. Dwight Wilkerson, son of Arthur, kept WLIK in Newport, Tennessee.
- http://wlilcountry.com, Retrieved on 2009-05-14.
- "Deals," Broadcasting and Cable, August 14, 2006.
- WLIL official website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WLIL
- Radio-Locator Information on WLIL
- Query Arbitron's AM station database for WLIL
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