Donald Paul “Frog” Perryman, age 58, of Bauxite, passed away Saturday, June...
Grant Merrill is the owner of KEWI Radio and Saline River Media. He purchased the radio station in 2011 after working in the broadcast business at stations across the state of Arkansas in sales, programming, management, and ownership.
He began his career at KARV Radio in his hometown of Russellville at the age of fourteen, performing everything from janitorial duties to hosting the morning show by the time he graduated high school four years later. During his freshman year at Arkansas Tech University, he moved to a full-time position as morning news anchor on the Arkansas Radio Network, which at the time put his newscasts on nearly eighty stations across the state. During this time he also served as a fill-in host for other programs on the station like “Sportsrap with Chuck Barrett” and “The Dave Elswick Show” on KARN Newsradio.
In 2005, he moved to Fort Smith to work for his longtime friend and mentor Bill Pharis as they built the area’s local FM sports station “The Sports Hog 103.1”. In 2007 he was hired by Murphy Oil Chairman Bill Nolan to become General Manager of Noalmark Broadcasting’s three station radio group in Arkadelphia where he helped transition the stations into new ownership. In 2008, he fulfilled one of his life’s dreams by establishing an FM sports station in the Fayetteville market built around the University of Arkansas athletic program. Backed by Bunyard Broadcasting, he became a General Manager and partner in four Northwest Arkansas signals.
During this time, he built a strong reputation as a play-by-play sportscaster for a number of radio and television stations across the state. He served as the play-by-play voice of the Fort Smith Northside Grizzlies and the Russellville Cyclones at the high school level, and also at the college level as play by play voice of the Henderson State Reddies (football) in 2002, and the Ouachita Baptist Tigers (basketball) from 2006 to 2008.
In 2009, he was honored by Arkansas Business magazine in the inaugural “Twenty In Their Twenties” class of outstanding and influential businesspeople under the age of thirty.
Today, in addition to his ownership of KEWI, he owns and operates the Arkansas Sports Radio Network, which syndicates sports programming to nearly seventy stations across the state. The network’s flagship program is Sports Night hosted by Merrill and Andy Hodges which airs on forty-one affiliate stations across the state including Little Rock’s KARN Newsradio, The Hog SportsRadio in Fayetteville, KNEA in Jonesboro, KHGG in Fort Smith, and KCMC in Texarkana. Sports Night originates from the KEWI studios in downtown Benton.
Grant lives in Benton with his six year old daughter.