Joe Poteet

Joe Poteet

Chief Engineer at WFLI

He is greatly missed.

David Carroll –  “One of my broadcasting heroes. He was very kind and patient with a teenager who had never changed a light bulb, suddenly flipping those giant switches on a 50,000 watt transmitter!”

Marilyn Hickey –  “Brought back my memories of him showing me how to flip those giant switches on a 50,000 watt transmitter too, David Carroll! When my mother heard about it she flipped. Not happy. He taught me so much and never had any doubts about my abilities just because I happened to be female. And believe me, that was a progressive attitude then! Very few women that I know of worked alone as late night dj and doing that power change. Great man.”

Kent Teffetelle –  “Joe Poteet was one of the best engineers in the Tennessee Valley. And that Brennan night transmitter is a legend. The only Brennan transmitter which has survived intact. 1070 was easily the best sounding AM in the market and in all of East Tennessee. That 5 Kilowatt Brennan could easily do 15 Kilowatts and more than meet proof.”

Donald Bryson –  “Joe meant more to me than I can express. All the hours he patiently explained broadcasting things to me. Also, I am pretty sure he was the primary reason I got my job at WFLI.”

Tommy, Johnny, Jackie, Joe

Rich Phillips –  “Joe Poteet, a great guy and engineer.  I can still smell the pipe he smoked. Miss you Joe. See you in the East Brother.”

WFLI Musical Show with Joe Poteet

Tony Carroll –  “I’ll never forget the special effect of the search light coming through the window at Lookout Valley Baptist to Illustrate the “glory of God” during our presentation of “Noel, Jesus is Born.” And Mr. Fred was the operator outside. It was a memorable surprise .”

Jane Carroll O’Dell –  “Such a dear, kind man!!!”

Cindy Thomas Kearney –  “What a wonderful man! Sure loved Joe Fred!! Rode by WFLI yesterday and thought of him and our many Sunday dinners.”

Betty Benns  – “As my dad used to say, “Good ol’ Joe.” He is missed.”

Ed – “I am so pleased that so many remember Joe Poteet so kindly. I especially love the comments from the women, just girls then, and by their own admission a little bit afraid of the job and the transmitter. “Good ol’ Joe” was there to teach them, encourage them, comfort them. I’m not one bit surprised. Joe came to work shortly after the station signed on. He was hired by Chief Engineer Ron Wolfe. So was I. Ron and Legendary Cyril Brennan put the big Western Electric transmitter back together. (It had been taken apart for shipment after purchase from WTOP in Washington, DC) Ron only stayed a few months and after he left Billy Benns made Joe Chief. What a choice! He was everything everyone has said of him here, and more. A great radio engineer and all-around nice guy. I miss him.

P.S. He smoked a pipe and the best-smelling tobacco. The outside transmitter door was about 30 feet from the Control Room but I knew instantly when he entered the building.”

Dan Fletcher – “When I worked at WFLI, I was a young dumb 19 year old kid who had no idea about life. He was very patient, not only taking time to teach me what no needed to know about radio, but also took the time to teach me lessons about life in general. I feel like I am a better person because of Joe.”

Lisa Ridge – “I love this page! Mr. Poteet, as he was the father of my classmates, raised more teenagers than anyone I can think of. He kindly and so calmly came to the station the night before I was to go to Atlanta to get my license. He knew how scared I was, but also how determined I was to get a chance to change the power! Marilyn Hickey is so right about the way women on the air were treated. Mr.Poteet only wanted you to learn the best way to take care of his baby! What a wonderful part of my life he was!!”


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