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Nash Icon Launches Across The Country

Nash Icon 95.5 Nashville 92.5 Des Moines 102.5 Kansas City 102.1 Savannah Cumulus Media Big Machine Classic CountryUpdate 8/15: Cumulus has debuted the “Nash Icon” Country brand on fourteen stations across the nation. 98.9 W255CJ Atlanta and 102.1 WZAT Savannah were the first to make the flip at 12pm Eastern. Five more followed at 3pm Central and the rest scattered across the remainder of the afternoon.

The stations making the move to Nash Icon are:

The brand also launched on 93.1 WDRQ-HD2 Detroit.

INSTANT INSIGHT: Only two of the inaugural Nash Icon branded stations were previously Country, both in markets where Cumulus previously rebranded their other Country station in town as “Nash-FM”. Of the new flips, only Birmingham and Kansas City come in markets where Cumulus does not already own a Country formatted station.

A big takeaway is the removal of CBS Sports Radio from three of the stations. Just last year Cumulus had made the network one of its tentpoles for growth, but is now scaling back in the wake of low ratings and slowed growth of the network.

EXCLUSIVE: RadioInsight has learned that Cumulus will launch the first series of “Nash Icons” stations on Friday, August 15 at 3pm.

While the number of stations and which ones will convert to the Nash Icons brand are not yet known, some indicators have begun to pop up. A Twitter account for 95.5 WSM-FM Nashville, a Facebook page hints at the network launching on what is now “CBS Sports Radio 102.1” WZAT Savannah. Robby Bridges, Program Director of “93.1 Nash-FM” WDRQ Detroit tweets that he will be involved with the launch of a new station at the time mentioned.

Original Report 8/8: Back in May, Cumulus and Big Machine Label Group announced they were partnering on a “Nash Icons” record label and network of radio stations. The format will focus on “old hits and new material by 1990s country stars such as Garth Brooks, George Strait, Shania Twain and the Judds, along with a handful of similar acts from the late 1980s and early 2000s”.

Cumulus registered domains for the brand yesterday showing off their potential plans for the format. Domains for every FM frequency in the pattern of ###NashIcon.com and NashIcon###.com. Cumulus also registered domains for every market they currently own stations in the pattern of MarketNashIcon.com.

In addition are four domains for markets with no apparent connection to Cumulus: ConcordNashIcon.com, GreenvilleNashIcon.com, ManchesterNashIcon.com, and MarionNashIcon.com. As Cumulus prepares to distribute Nash and NashIcons via its WestwoodOne networks, this could give an indication of some of the first markets where the brand will launch outside of Cumulus ownership.

We’ve heard from multiple sources that Cumulus plans to launch the first Nash Icons stations on or before Labor Day.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com 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.

11 Comments

  1. Profile photo of musicradio77 TV


    That means “Real Country” is going to end sometime in the coming weeks and it is going to replace with “Nash Icons”. I hope so.

  2. Profile photo of airplane777


    I am ready to see a decent classic country station in Oklahoma City. I would be happy with the format on AM.

  3. Profile photo of BC


    once again, I have to credit your thoroughness. I did some guess work on mr. bridges facebook yesterday and earlier this morning he gave me the nod. you’re like a radio format marathon runner, and I like trying to keep up with you, keeps my analytics and research skills fresh. Thanks for the challenge I’ll never win. haha

  4. Profile photo of Destructor


    I think they should all play older classic country from the 70’s and 60’s at least, and maybe throw in some older material. That’s CLASSIC.

    • Profile photo of Lance Venta


      Nash Icon isn’t Classic Country per say. It’s just a broader mix of music from the 80s through now than the primary Nash FM focusing on currents/recurrents.

      Most of the Nash-FM stations are the Country equivalent of Hot AC. These Nash Icons would be the equivalent of AC.

  5. Profile photo of Christian


    Surprising 92.5 in Muskegon, which is already classic country, didn’t go Nash Icon (yet).

  6. Profile photo of BRH


    I still wonder if Cumulus really knows what they are doing. I know that Nash is a long term brand and platform, and this may take a while . But, honestly, this wholesale dumping of heritage stations for the Nash brand, and now a secondary format with a confusingly similar & odd name seems a bit erratic to me. They are placing all their marbles into creating a national brand instead of looking at what makes logical sense in individual markets. Maybe it will pay off. Who knows. It will either work or be a colossal blunder. I still think it’s an odd gamble & the branding is a bit strange & forced.

  7. Profile photo of Mark W.


    The fact it’s called “Nash Icon” bugs me. Sounds awkward. Shouldn’t it be called “Nash Icons” instead?

    I hate how they use the singular form of the word.

    Cumulus screws up everything.

    By the way, 92.5 FM in Muskegon, MI also flipped to the format today. They were already an 80’s/90’s based country station, so not a format change per se….just an identity change.

  8. Profile photo of smashedcd


    Is that all of them? I dont really have a problem with 90s country. Just dont want to hear all new music. Well I would like it if it was very little new music. But classic country skips the Dixie Chicks and other artists form that era. So far its been ok. A little bit of that truck country but not much. Just heard Ronnie Milsap from around 1984. Baton Rouge or New Orleans needs one of these. New Orleans has 106.1 The Ticket. A very low rated CBS Sports station. And Baton Rouge has a waysted AM signal rebroadcasting Q106.5. But the signal only covers BR.

  9. Profile photo of Mark W.


    I think either 105.1 or 105.7 in Minneapolis – St. Paul is another candidate for a future “Nash Icon” station. Both frequencies currently run CBS Sports Radio, which earns abysmal ratings in the Twin Cities. The 105.1 & 105.7 signals have significant coverage overlap; seems to me it would make sense to air separate programming on one of them — especially if it can be done cheaply.

  10. Profile photo of BC


    minneapolis is a surprisingly different market than most, i was surprised cumulus dropped ac, cities 97 is just modern ac now, no one can even float the idea to me that they’re a tripple a. anyway, back on topic, i’m actually surprised how many currents are played, especially considering the nash fm brand, but lance really cleared up the hot ac and ac distinction very well. I was never a huge fan of country, so top 40 presentation is fine with me so long as it is engaging and fast moving. my only question is, how will these formats make future distinctions, and can they break their own tracks through the formats. that’s why i agree with the awkwardness of nash icon as the brand positioner, not that brand extensions are new. just ask anyone from the uk. it just seems like texture is going to play a huge factor, and country is 30 years late to the separation distinction, so identity will be a weird thing to watch for while with single releases.

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