The more we learn about Cumulus’ Country “NASH” initiative the more questions are coming through about what happens next. In an attempt to slow down the influx of messages to our inbox let’s answer some of the most common questions we’ve been getting about Cumulus’ launch of Nash-FM.
What Is Nash?
At this point the only active property with the “Nash” branding is 94.7 in New York. The station is still licensed with the WRXP call letters, but Cumulus applied today to move the WNSH calls it parked in Minnesota to 94.7. The station is branding itself as “America’s Country Station” and “The World’s Biggest Country Station” to show that it will be prevalent in more places than just New York.
What Will Nash Be?
Cumulus plans on bringing the Nash brand to all media platforms. All of Cumulus’ Country stations will feature the Nash name in some form. Some programming will be distributed nationally from Nashville and will be syndicated to other programmers via Cumulus Media Networks.
The company will extend the brand to other platforms by launching NASH Magazine and an accompanying online platform via its Modern Luxury subsidiary in the second half of 2013. The company is seeking to develop an accompanying television brand and live events. CEO Lew Dickey explained the plans in this interview today on CNBC.
As we reported over the weekend, Cumulus applied for Nash trademarks for all of those initiatives as well as a possible award show.
Cumulus needed a brand name that it can own nationwide. The Nash name was not used anywhere in the country for radio, television, or print and they were able to claim it for those purposes.
In terms of creating the brand?
In a press statement Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey stated, “Country is more than just music — it’s a lifestyle that is rich with content and marketing opportunities because Country is mass appeal and very much underserved in all forms of media. Cumulus is committed to serving this significant lifestyle segment that stretches from coastto-coast by creating a full complement of content on the radio, in print, online and on TV.”
When will other stations flip to Nash?
That is yet to be determined. Cumulus has stated more announcements are forthcoming
Will Cumulus flip any other stations to Country?
That too is yet to be determined. Cumulus has covered their tracks by registering domain names for every commercial FM frequency with NashFM in it.
With the launch of WNSH in New York, San Francisco is currently the largest market without Country. Cumulus owns a pair of FM’s in the market in AAA 104.5 KFOG and Classic Rock “107.7 The Bone” KSAN. Other markets that come to mind where Cumulus may consider adding a Country outlet should an opportunity arise are Detroit, Buffalo, and New Orleans. But there are no outright indications a move in that direction is imminent in those markets or anywhere else.
I found a blank Facebook/Twitter account for my market, does that mean something?
Some opportunists took advantage of Cumulus not registering social media accounts for local NashFM brands to go into business for themselves. There’s a comedic take on the launch in New York on Twitter @947NashFM. Someone in Detroit is teasing a flip at @931NashFM to take place on April Fools Day. Even in Peoria, someone on Facebook is teasing a rebranding of WFYR.
Cumulus needs to protect their assets and park every possible Facebook and Twitter account it can before more of these pop up.
Why National, what does this mean to local programming?
Nash will be a national brand encompassing all of Cumulus’ Country programming. The extent of how much localization is still unknown. In an interview today, Cumulus co-COO John Dickey stated that New York’s NashFM is more current based than most of the company’s fellow stations. That indicates that not all NashFM’s will be created equally. With the statement that some, but now all programming could come out of Nashville, it leaves the door open for each station to be programmed uniquely.
National programming exists in some form in almost every other nation on the planet. Many Clear Channel stations run shared playlists or the same personalities voice-tracking the entire lineup. But from market to market their CHR franchise could be Z, Q, Y, Kiss-FM, or Radio Now. By the end of 2013 if not sooner, Cumulus wants Country radio synonymous with the name Nash.