NASH Next Challenge Competition Will Identify & Launch Next Generation of Country Stars

ATLANTA, May 18, 2015 – Cumulus (NASDAQ: CMLS) announces the launch of a unique artist development competition called “NASH Next” that will discover and release music from the most promising Country talent. NASH Next marks the latest expansion of the popular NASH entertainment and lifestyle brand, and NASH’s second launch into the recorded music business (joining the NASH Icon label).

Country fans will help find and choose the next superstars of Country radio through engagement with their favorite artists and bands. For the first time ever, online engagement between fans and artists/bands will be measured and counted in the talent competition.

NASH Next features a nationwide talent search through submissions to, which will be promoted on more than 200 Cumulus radio stations – making NASH Next the largest online talent search ever undertaken.

The grand prize winner will be signed to the new NASH Next record label, with the top 10 all participating in a 2016 NASH Next concert tour from coast to coast.

Beginning June 15, the NASH Next website will open for registration to artists and bands, as well as the fans who will judge them through a series of challenges that run through November. The winners will be decided based on a combination of three music industry judges (who will soon be announced), an original “Spin Index” of social media activity and voting on the NASH Next website.

“Country is firmly established as the most popular music format and through NASH Next we are connecting directly with the fans and talent who are most engaged with the Country lifestyle,” said John Dickey, Executive Vice President of Content and Programming for Cumulus.

“We are thrilled to partner with NASH in launching NASH Next,” said Ron Berryman, Founder and CEO of SUM, NASH Next’s technology partner. “This has to be one of the most innovative approaches in finding emerging modern Country talent, and engaging their fan base through the use of social media.”

Fans will engage with their favorite bands as they progress through a series of challenges that showcase their musical and creative talents:

  • Challenge 1: Bands perform the same cover song, exclusively shown on the NASH Next website
  • Challenge 2: Bands perform an original jingle, with the last five words selected by fans through Twitter
  • Challenge 3: Bands perform an original song broadcast live on Periscope, which will later be viewable on the NASH Next website
  • Challenge 4: Bands post an original video on Instagram
  • Challenge 5: Bands post original creative content on PicCollage, with fans adding their own pictures to complete the collages
  • Final Challenge: a fully produced original music video including animation

NASH Next will be 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.

Cumulus Media, Inc. launched the NASH entertainment brand based on the Country music lifestyle in January 2013 with the flagship NASH FM 94.7 in New York City. In addition to Country radio stations, the NASH brand includes a NASH magazine, concerts/events, online content and television programming. Country radio programs originate from Cumulus Media’s NASH campus in Nashville, the nation’s only multimedia facility devoted solely to producing and distributing content based on the Country music lifestyle, including radio programming, TV/videos, magazines and events.

Founded in 2013, SUM is the creative collaboration network connecting people, providing unique collaboration methods, and publishing the work across the globe. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, SUM’s network offers artists, musicians, producers and more a place to develop great work through shared knowledge, ideation, iteration and validation. Partnering with key media companies, universities and brands, SUM is dedicated to bringing people together to facilitate the creative process and networking possibilities. For additional information about SUM, the creative collaboration network, email or visit

Alexis Blais
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