In addition to the launches of the Country “Nash Icon” brand in Lexington, KY and Worcester, MA today, Cumulus will also launch the brand in Chattanooga on what is currently Classic Hits “107.9 Big-FM” WOGT.
The change will return the station to Country as it was previously “Duke-FM” from 2005 until 2010.
Cumulus is also transitioning three of its existing Country stations to the flagship “Nash-FM” brand. “Cat Country 95.1” KATC-FM Colorado Springs, 98.1 KBUL Reno, and 102.9 KTOP-FM Topeka join the 37 other Nash branded stations across the country.
Cumulus announces that three of its existing Country-formatted stations will rebrand today as NASH stations and three additional stations will launch today as NASH Icon stations. These changes bring the number of NASH branded stations to 40 and the number of NASH Icon stations to 20, including the highly successful NASH Icon station WSM-FM, which debuted as the number one Country station in Nashville in September 2014 Nielsen ratings. The new NASH stations are: KTOP-FM, Topeka, KS; KATC-FM, Colorado Springs, CO; and KBUL-FM, Reno, NV. In addition, America’s Morning Show will debut on KTOP-FM on Monday, November 3 at 6:00 a.m. Central. The new NASH Icon stations are: WORC-FM, Worcester, MA, and WOGT-FM, Chattanooga, TN, both formerly programmed as Classic Hits, and WVLK-FM, Lexington, KY, which ends its simulcast with News/Talk station WVLK-AM.
In a hat tip to Country megastar Garth Brooks’ arrival in Lexington today for the first of two concerts, WVLK-FM launched this morning as GARTH 101.5 at 6:00 a.m. EST and will become NASH Icon at 5:00 pm EST. The new NASH Icon station will broadcast outside Lexington’s Rupp Arena tonight at Brooks’ first Lexington concert.
Cumulus created the NASH entertainment brand based on the Country music lifestyle in 2013, starting with flagship radio station NASH FM 94.7 in New York City, which has rapidly become one of the most-listened-to Country stations in the nation. NASH Icon is a new distribution platform for Country music’s most iconic artists, driven by Country music fans’ desire for more exposure to their all-time favorite artists from the last 25 years.
The NASH Icon format is an important complement to the more contemporary artists that are heard on NASH, its sister brand. Both NASH and NASH Icon stations provide advertisers the opportunity to engage with the passionate Country fan base across a multi-media platform that spans radio, television, digital, magazine and live events. Cumulus will syndicate NASH Icon content to affiliate stations through Westwood One.The NASH Icon platform also includes a record label and live events venture, in partnership with Big Machine Records. Last week, NASH Icon Music announced that it has signed its first artist to the NASH Icon label, the multi-platinum Country superstar, Reba.
John Dickey, Executive Vice President, Content and Programming for Cumulus said: “NASH continues to take the country world by storm. NASH captures the essence of what it is to be country and NASH Icon is the most exciting new format in radio. Our new NASH and NASH Icon stations are thrilled to be formally associated with these brands.”
NASH and NASH Icon are based at the NASH Campus in Nashville, the nation’s only multi-media facility devoted solely to producing and distributing content based on the Country music lifestyle. Featuring three studios designed for a combination of TV and radio programming, indoor and outdoor event space, a print newsroom and extensive office space, leading Country stars such as Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum and Sheryl Crow are among the early visitors.