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iHeart Debuts The Big Legend 98.3 Nashville

Alt 98.3 The Big Legend W252CM WNRQ-HD2 Nashville 97.5iHeartMedia flipped Alternative “Alt 98.3” W252CM/97.5 W248BQ/WNRQ-HD2 Nashville to Classic Country “98.3 The Big Legend” at 5pm today.

The new format flanks sister Country “The Big 98” 97.9 WSIX against Cumulus’ “95.5 Nash Icon” WSM-FM and Grand Ole Opry’s 650 WSM. Nash Icon has become the top Country station in the market registering a 6.6 share in the August 2016 Nielsen Audio ratings, well ahead of WSIX’s 4.5 share. WSM added an additional 2.3 share to Classic Country.

iHeartMedia Nashville announced today the debut of The BIG Legend at 98.3, Nashville’s All Time Country Favorites station. The new station launched commercial free today at 5 p.m. CT.  
The BIG Legend at 98.3 kicked off Labor Day weekend for Nashville listeners with popular songs from recording artists such as Alabama, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Travis Tritt and more. The BIG Legend at 98.3 is iHeartMedia Nashville’s second BIG Country brand and joins sister station The BIG 98, Nashville’s No. 1 station for New Country. Both radio station brands are part of iHeartCountry, the largest Country broadcast radio group in America with more than 145 Country stations nationwide.
“We’re excited to announce the launch of a pure Classic Country radio station brand for the city where this music was born and lives on so strongly today,” stated Rod Phillips, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Nashville and iHeartCountry’s Brand Manager.  “This new station is the perfect match to our sister station, The Big 98, WSIX that made these songs so famous through the years.”

iHeartMedia is a leading media outlet throughout the Nashville Region. Its radio brands and content are available across multiple platforms, including its broadcast stations; online via its branded digital sites; mobile; and social, with nationwide listening through iHeartRadio, the all-in-one streaming music and live radio service.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.


  1. Profile photo of dgmiddle

    Wow. amazing. No announcement. No Countdown. Just total rip the carpet out from under a fan base ( i was one ( a fan ) – maybe your ratings sucked? umm.. stupid question right.. or else you wouldn’t have flipped. Sad for the staff/ air talent. I liked how they went deeper into older catalog alt/indie/americana. Oh well. Guess I’ll be leaning on Spotify a lot more. I’m not sure Nashville can support another country station.

    • Profile photo of charles57

      “Air talent”? On an HD-plus-translators format? More likely it was Premium Choice if not jockless.
      Besides, you just had the Americana hole filled by a non-commercial FM that has a full-market signal.

      • Profile photo of chadi

        There was on air talent that was local to Nashville and was actually pretty good. Now we have the same old crap country station without DJs and the same tired old playlist. If you listen to country in the Nashville area all you do is switch the station when a commercial comes on to another country station and so and so forth. I can’t believe they actually think people will stick around for the commercials.

        • Profile photo of charles57

          98.3 dropped Alt-Rock one day after the Nashville ratings for July were released. It appears the Alt-Rock signal had an audience too small to measure.
          And iHeartMedia is not in the business of catering to fanboys.

          • Profile photo of Lance Venta

            Nielsen is very inconsistent with what translators appear in the public books. Alt 98.3 was never listed so you cannot state that it had an audience too small to measure, it simply was not made public.

      • Profile photo of Eric Jon Magnuson

        There probably was a lot of Premium Choice used. However, Alt did, at least, utilize some on-air folks from The Rock (on the main signal of WNRQ)–perhaps most notably, Wells Adams…

    • Profile photo of ageffner

      Yeah, really pissed about the format change. One day it’s great alternative, the next, just another country station.
      So before I start looking for another online station from iHeart or just use Pandora, anyone know of another station in the Nashville area that has a similar format to what 98.3 used to be?
      I really loved that they weren’t just playing top-40 cookie cutter alternative, and as dgmiddle pointed out, they dug a bit deeper into the older catalog for some music / artists I hadn’t heard before. It’s one of the things that made the a joy to listen to. 🙁

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