James A. Dick owned WIVK-AM (and later FM) Knoxville, TN from 1953 until he sold the 11-station group Dick Broadcasting in 2000. WIVK reports that he died Sunday after a long illness.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Dick paid $3,000 for the AM station, six years after arriving in Knoxville to take a radio ad sales job. After years of airing a variety format, WIVK switched to all Country in 1964 and has long been one of the nation’s most successful and award-winning Country stations.
Dick acquired more stations over the years and sold the entire group, Dick Broadcasting, to Citadel Broadcasting in 2000 for $300 million, according to RBR-TVBR records.
“James A. Dick was a wonderful man who loved his people (employees) protected his radio stations and his integrity. We were always to be the best and we could all get better! Most of all he truly loved his “family” which were all his employees. When they sold the company they gave $6,000,000 (yes million) to be divided amongst the staffs of the various stations. I’ve never heard of any company ever doing that..much less a radio or media company. James and Marilyn Dick were special people to a whole lot of folks! He gave a ton of us opportunities in the broadcast business,” wrote former Dick Broadcasting employee Paul Lyle in a comment posted on the Knoxville Radio History 101 blog maintained by George Vavalides. The photo of James Dick (front) is also from the blog.