Nashville BBQ Chain Stays With Radio In Tough Times


Everywhere “Business as Usual” has quickly become “Business Unusual”, as owners do their best to cope with the restrictions and limitations being enforced because of COVID-19. Many businesses have taken a hit and that has created a domino effect on radio stations that rely on those ad dollars.

In Nashville, a city raked by a deadly tornado in early March, is now dealing with the pandemic that is affecting Tennessee. Through this all, Edley’s Bar-B-Que, with three restaurants in Nashville and one each in Chattanooga and Lexington, remains open and advertising on the radio. Owner Will Newman is happy to still be working with Tich McWilliams, of Tuned In Broadcasting.

Newman: In Nashville we are blessed to have an independent, locally owned radio station that is impactful in the community, WRLT-FM, Radio Lightning 100.1. I have an appreciation for locally owned and independently owned businesses. We have been using Radio Lightning, off and on for about 7 years now. We have sponsored the midday lunch hour program for about the last six years.

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Radio Ink: WRLT-FM, is owned by a local, independent company, Tuned In Broadcasting. How do you like working with the company?
Newman: It’s great. I’ve worked with Tich McWilliams for about 5 years. She is easy to work with and reliable. If she says she’s going to do something, she does it. I don’t really have to think about it because she is true to her word. That goes a long way for me.
Another great thing about the station is they do all things in house so I don’t have to spend extra money. I can go into their studios and do the spots and be in and out in no time.

Tich McWilliams: Yes, Edley’s is still open and they are one of the few businesses still advertising. They are still sponsoring the Request Lunch Hour. I actually got proactive and wrote a spot that touched on their changes – deliveries, curbside pickup, gift cards. They liked it and stayed on, coupled with Lt. Dan (DJ host) who talks live about what is happening with them daily. Sharing their socials and such; it’s working out really well with them. So well in fact that we had to stop advertising their phone number and direct listeners to order through their app.

Radio Ink: When the tornado hit, you stayed open and fed first responders. Being part of the community is important to you?
Newman: Yes it is. I always like when I can provide food for someone. People talk about us, talk about our food. I like to help where I can. My Grandfather, George Edley Newman Jr. believed in generosity, hard work and southern hospitality. That is what inspired me to create my business.

Radio Ink: What advice do you have for other businesses about using radio?
Newman: In my experience I suggest do both live mentions and discussions about your brand; and use 30 second spots. Its been a really good combination for me.

Radio Ink: Do you have BBQ sauce for blood?
Newman: I was born in Memphis and I tell people when you are born in Memphis, BBQ is stamped in your DNA; whether you like it or not, you can’t escape that. BBQ and Pork sort of permeates every aspect of your life down here. Church picnics, family reunions, college football; all those things that you associate BBQ with are all part of the Southern type of experience.

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