Grant Merrill is the Publisher of the Leader News Group family of media outlets, and owner of parent company Great Plains Digital Media. A native of Arkansas, he spent twenty years in the field of radio and television broadcasting before relocating to the Wichita area in 2015.
Merrill got his start at the age of fourteen at KARV Radio in his hometown of Russellville. As a freshman in college, he moved to the state capitol of Little Rock where he anchored the morning news on the Arkansas Radio Network for five years, and covered the state legislature for flagship station KARN. During this time, he also broadcast close to 160 sporting events per year for ARN’s affiliate stations.
He would go on to work at or manage stations in Clarksville, Arkadelphia, and the state’s second largest city of Fort Smith.
In 2008, Merrill achieved a lifelong dream, when he launched the first FM all-sports radio station in Northwest Arkansas, known as “The Hog Sportsradio”, where he worked as the General Manager and afternoon host. He created and served as host of the “Hogwild Hotline”, which is a pregame and postgame show for Arkansas Razorback football, and basketball, and would go on to broadcast live from every SEC football and basketball venue. He was named as one of Arkansas Business’ inaugural members of the annual “Twenty In Their Twenties” class, which was made up of the state’s influential professionals under the age of thirty.
In 2011, he led the purchase of a full service radio station in the Little Rock market. During that time, he was named as recipient of the “Sully Award” by the Little Rock Touchdown Club, which is given annually to the sportscaster with the best play-by-play call in the state of Arkansas. He divested his ownership interest in that company in 2013.
He has served as the play-by-play voice for Henderson State University football, Ouachita Baptist University basketball, and has served as lead broadcaster for the NCAA Division I Sun Belt Conference and NCAA Division II Great American Conference basketball tournaments. One his biggest personal honors has been to have broadcast over fifty state championship sporting events in Arkansas and Kansas on both local radio and statewide television. For seven years, he served as the host of Arkansas’ largest high school scoreboard show, which was broadcast to over fifty radio stations each Friday night.
In recent years, he has cut back his sports broadcasting significantly to spend time with family, but still serves as a fill-in broadcaster for the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith basketball broadcasts on KHGG-FM.
In 2015, he relocated to Kansas after concluding his career in broadcasting. Since then, he has launched Great Plains Digital Media, which operates successful community news websites in Andover and El Dorado. He serves on the board of directors for the Andover Rotary Club, as chairman of the Andover Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Committee, and is heavily involved with the organization and planning of a number of annual community events in Butler County.
His wife Lauren is the Head Volleyball Coach at Andale High School, and their favorite thing is raising his nine year old daughter Molly.