Appalachian Radio Group completes purchase of historic Elizabethton Radio Station

Published 1:30 pm Monday, June 3, 2024

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Local owner promises a continued commitment to the community

Appalachian Radio Group recently completed its purchase of 107.9 WBEJ-FM in Elizabethton. The organization, headquartered in Bluff City, Tenn., began broadcasting in the East Tennessee region in 1984. With a deeply rooted passion for hometown radio stations, President and CEO Dr. Kenneth C. Hill began working toward purchasing WBEJ in mid 2023 with a desire to keep the historic station local.

WBEJ has maintained strong listenership in Carter County, Tenn., and surrounding areas by providing a mix of local and regional news and information, sports and a great blend of music since its first time on the air in July 1946.

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Appalachian Radio Group is rebranding WBEJ as 107.9 The Bridge as a way of showing respect and appreciation for the local community with a nod to Elizabethton’s 1882 landmark, the Covered Bridge. The radio station will blend long standing favorites such as Swap & Shop, high school sports and local church services with an all new Southern Gospel format. 107.9 The Bridge will continue broadcasting from the longstanding WBEJ property located in the heart of Elizabethton at 510 Broad St.

Dr. Kenneth Hill says, “I am excited to broadcast with the digital program equipment that we recently purchased and installed in the new WBEJ studio. The transmitter site is also equipped with new technology. I encourage everyone in our region to listen to our signal and hear the difference. The history and the future come together here at WBEJ.”

Familiar faces, Lora Gilreath and Barton Edens, remain committed to WBEJ and will join an all new air staff that includes radio veterans Ben Foy, Dick McClellan and Dr. Kenneth Hill as well as Loren Harris, a Southern Gospel singer who performed with the Kingdom Heirs of Dollywood until September 2023.

Appalachian Radio Group owns and operates other popular radio stations in the region including 91.5 WHCB, 96.3 The Possum, 93.7 Love FM, 97.3 GOAT FM and 104.1 The Truth.

To learn more about 107.9 The Bridge, visit our website at