GROVE — Mark Linn says a year ago he hadn’t ever dreamed of being in the radio business. Yet Mark Linn and his son, Tanner, are now the owners of the radio stations in both Grove and Miami.

The new owners are certainly not new to the area.

Steve Linn was born in Commerce where he was an accomplished high school athlete. When his son Tanner was about 4 years old, the family moved to Grove where Steve built a successful Allstate Insurance office.

Those local ties are the main reason that the former owners Larry and Jo Hestand decided to sell the stations, KGVE 99.3 and KGLC 100.9 to the family.

Tanner says he met Hestand five years ago when he was helping Larry move some items from his house to the office.

“I tricked him into liking me,” Tanner laughed. “It was the beginning of our friendship. He later asked me help Darrell Mastin keep football and basketball stats for the Ridgerunner football and basketball broadcasts as well as for Oklahoma State.”

Tanner later substituted as the host on Tradio and became hooked on radio.

Mark noted that he is excited to be part of a small market radio station.

“We have the mission of both entertainment and featuring school and community news and events. We intend to evolve our business into social media including streaming our stations and using our website to expand our reach.”

Mark talked about the location of Third and Main Street. “This building was originally a bank building. We still have the vault. In fact, we recently found some documents in the building’s upper stories that date back to 1918.

“We are learning a lot about radio including engineering and transmission. We get texts in the middle of the night when the power drops at our tower out on Highway 59.”

In addition, Mark says the downtown Miami station is the only radio station actually located on Route 66. “We hope to take advantage of that use that to help build that station.”

Mark said he was surprised by how far the reach of the broadcast signal extends for the Grove station. “I was recently in Northwest Arkansas and the signal is clear all the way to Rogers and Bentonville as well as into Kansas and Southwest Missouri.”

The family intends to expand live broadcasts at the Miami station. “We will have live upcoming morning programming in Miami starting at 6 a.m. and running until noon. Of course, Tradio will be part of that.”

In Grove, the family will continue to broadcast Grove football games as well as basketball games. In addition, they do school lunch menus and weather-related announcements. They hope to have a program with Grove Public Schools superintendent Pat Dodson once a month to keep the area informed about school developments as well.

The Tanners say they have a lot of in-house production capabilities that they intend to use to promote local businesses through advertisements. They urge business owners to be part of their on-air commercials noting that it is a very effective way to promote products and services.