New York, NY – January 12, 2015 – Westwood One announces today’s launch of syndication of the NASH Icon Country music brand to radio stations nationwide, making the songs and lifestyle content related to the best Country music of the last three decades available to thousands of radio stations.
NASH Icon, featuring “the music that made country great,” is an expansion of the NASH Country music and lifestyle brand that provides exciting new ways for America's 90 million Country fans to enjoy their favorite songs and the lifestyle the music represents. NASH includes radio, TV (in partnership with Music Choice), digital on Rdio, a record label joint venture with Big Machine Label Group, a magazine, live events, and an upcoming retail brand. On December 15, 2014, the American Country Countdown Awards on FOX Television debuted the first-ever NASH Icon Award, bestowed to Country icon Reba McEntire.
Cumulus owns and operates 20 NASH Icon radio stations. The new Westwood One syndication will enable other station groups to adopt 24/7 NASH Icon branding and the programming elements their listeners want.
“NASH ICON is quickly emerging as a cornerstone of our NASH Country music brand, and we’re excited to make this radio format available to stations nationwide given the growing demand from advertisers and listeners,” said John Dickey, Executive Vice President of Content & Programming at Cumulus.
“NASH Icon is a solid, mainstream addition to our line-up of 24-hour Country formats at Westwood One,” added Kirk Stirland, President of Programming at Westwood One. “It employs our top technology, it’s got a great track record right out of the box in Nashville, and it’s got hooks to a great brand.”
As an example of the NASH Icon's fast-growing popularity, Nashville country station 95.5 WSM-FM went live with the NASH Icon brand in August 2014. By October 2014, WSM-FM had grown to become the #1 Country station in Nashville. (Source: Nielsen Audio, October 2014 PPM, MSA; Mon-Sun 6A-12M; A25-54)
In syndication, NASH Icon will be offered as a Westwood One Local product using the Company’s patented delivery system to add localized content to the national channel. Affiliates will be able to tap into the strong brand awareness of NASH–with national concerts and events, publishing and merchandising–as well as receive a service that prominently highlights signature content from their local markets.
Four well-known voices are representing the brand on-air weekdays—Marty McFly, Lisa Manning, Scott Gaines, and Darlas Rai. Here are the bios and jock schedule of NASH Icon’s 24/7 format:
MARTY McFLY—Weekdays, 6 am – 10 am
Marty McFly got his start in radio in 1985 and says “one day not long after high school I found myself in a radio station, and I just knew this was it.” Almost 30 years later, and he’s still at it! The four-times nominated “CMA Air Personality of the Year” and three-time “ACM Air Personality of the Year” nominee helped the stations he worked at win a combined twelve CMA/ACM “Station of the Year” awards! He has also been nominated for Billboard Magazine’s “Air Personality of the Year” in 1996, Bobby Poe Magazine’s “Large Market Air Personality of the Year” in 1993, and Country AircheckMagazine’s Large Market Air Personality of the Year in 2012.
LISA MANNING —Weekdays, 10 am – 3 pm
Not only is Lisa Manning a radio dynamo, she’s an energetic P.T.O. mom that manages a showbiz career and a family life at home. The multi-talented Lisa launched her nearly three-decade radio-career in college, after following her father’s footsteps as a radio DJ and her mother’s as an actress. Manning’s on-air personality was shaped by her experience in several markets, including Charlotte, Cleveland, Norfolk, back to DC, and finally settling here in Nashville.
SCOTT GAINES—Weekdays, 3 pm – 8 pm
Scott Gaines lives and breathes country, and has never worked any job BUT radio, so he’s perfect for afternoons on NASH Icon. After earning a B.A. in Communications from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Scott held on-air and programming positions in major markets like Dallas and Detroit, as well as did voiceover and production jobs across the country. Recently, he’s had a long and successful run here at Westwood One, with our other country formats. Combine all that living with his innate understanding of the soul of country, and you’ve got a broadly skilled personality, experienced in attracting and retaining audiences to NASH Icon, and your station.
DARLAS RAI —Weekdays, 8 pm – 1 am
Darlas Rai is a country girl at heart, born and raised in Oregon. Now she’s a busy mom with two sets of twins and a passion for radio. She decided when she was only 8-years-old that she wanted to play music and talk on the radio, and she’s been living her dream since 1992. After living in Las Vegas for seven years, Darlas is now raising her kids in Nashville, where she moved in June 2006. Her passion for country music and people are obvious, she LOVES what she does and it shows through her broadcasts.
About Westwood One
Westwood One offers audio products to reach listeners whenever, wherever they are. Westwood One is a trusted connection between audio companies, advertisers, and audience — with 8,600 radio stations and media partners who reach 190 million weekly listeners and 30 million digital users a month. The company’s portfolio features exclusive brands people love, such as the NFL, Red Carpet Radio, NASH, Rdio, and more. Westwood One is the national-facing arm of Cumulus, representing more than just a network; it is a multi-platform provider of sports, music, news, spoken word, and digital content. For more information, please visit http://www.westwoodone.com/.