Westwood One

Cumulus Builds on Star-Studded NASH Network with Bold New Country Programming Line-Up

Westwood One offers audio products to engage listeners whenever, wherever they are. We are a trusted connection between audio companies, advertisers, and audience, reaching 245 million people each week through 453 owned-and-operated stations in 90 US media markets, more than 8,200 broadcast radio affiliates and numerous digital channels. Our portfolio features exclusive brands people love, such as the NFL, NASH, and more. As the national-facing arm of Cumulus, we represent more than just a radio network; we are a multi-platform provider of sports, music, news, spoken word, and digital content.

Ty Bentli New Co-Host of America’s Morning Show, with Kelly Ford and Chuck Wicks

Country Superstar Kix Brooks Doubles Down With American Country Countdown

Blair Garner to Overnights with New Show, The Blair Garner Show

NASHVILLE, TN, AUGUST 15, 2016 — Cumulus Media, #1 for Country, introduces Ty Bentli as the new co-host of America’s Morning Show with Kelly Ford and Chuck Wicks starting on September 6th. Bentli replaces Blair Garner who will host the new overnight show The Blair Garner Show. Garner, a Country Radio Hall of Fame inductee, will debut his new show later this fall. The show marks a return to overnight programming for Garner, who achieved success as host of the long-running nationally syndicated overnight show, After Midnite, which aired from 1993-2013.

Concurrently, three-time CMA "National Broadcast Personality of the Year" Kix Brooks, who this year celebrates ten years as Host of American Country Countdown on the NASH Network, will exit the overnight show, Kickin’ It With Kix, to focus fully on American Country Countdown. Last week, Brooks inked an extended multi-year partnership agreement with Cumulus. In addition to being a celebrity judge for Cumulus’ NASH Next 2016 competition, Brooks is a regular contributor to NASHCountryDaily.com.

Mike McVay, Senior Vice President, Content and Programming/Cumulus Media, said: "These are exciting and dramatic moves. We are fortunate to have such brilliant talent in our company. Blair first approached me a couple months ago with the desire to recreate his successful overnight show on a grand scale and the search for his replacement in the morning began. Ty Bentli has been a part of our company for the past two years as a morning talent in D.C. and has already worked with Kelly and Chuck on the Red Carpet at our award show broadcasts. Kix will continue with his highly successful American Country Countdown and Suzanne Alexander will continue to partner with him. The NASH campus is a stable of talent and superstars."

John Shomby, Director of Programming/NASH Network, said: “I can’t believe I get to work daily with the amazing talent here at the NASH campus. This is a veritable broadcast All-Star team. The excitement is building as we work our way toward a winning fall season with four well-produced, well-researched, hugely entertaining shows!”

Garner said: “This opportunity is a godsend for me and my family. My kids staged what amounted to an intervention. They candidly shared that they were unhappy with how little "Dad Time" they were getting. It rattled me. Mary and Mike were beyond understanding and graciously agreed to swing me back into my home turf of working overnights. I can't think of many companies that would accommodate such a request. But it's a new Cumulus, and they care about their family members. I'm so incredibly grateful to get to continue with the work that I love, and to show my kids that nothing will ever take priority over them.”

Bentli said: “My wife and I have spent the last several weeks attempting to explain to our three-year-old how awesome life has just become. We listed the trillion things we love about Nashville, and threw NASH dance parties in our living room.”

Bentli continued: “Thank you to Mary Berner, Mike McVay, Charlie Cook, John Shomby, Jeff Brown and Allison Warren for the opportunity to extend my time with Cumulus – a company I believe in and am excited by! Thank you to Blair for being a longstanding part of my love for country music and for creating a staff filled with talented people. I am so excited to join Kelly, Chuck, Glenn, Matt and the whole team in Nashville! #TruckYeah”

Brooks said: “Ten years ago when I was offered the opportunity to host American Country Countdown, I thought ‘Wow I don’t know much about talking on the radio, but I love this business, and I love great songs and talent. And now Cumulus has flattered me again, by asking me to continue with the American Country Countdown show for years to come. I consider this to be a huge responsibility, and I look forward to sharing my experiences, along with the lives and music of our great country artists. I am also excited to work more closely with Suzanne Alexander in her expanded role.”

About Cumulus Media

A leader in the radio broadcasting industry, Cumulus Media (NASDAQ:CMLS) combines high-quality local programming with iconic, nationally syndicated media, sports and entertainment brands to deliver premium content choices to the 245 million people reached each week through its 452 owned-and-operated stations broadcasting in 90 US media markets (including eight of the top 10), more than 8,200 broadcast radio stations affiliated with its Westwood One network and numerous digital channels. Together, the Cumulus/Westwood One platforms make Cumulus Media one of the few media companies that can provide advertisers with national reach and local impact. Cumulus/Westwood One is the exclusive radio broadcast partner to some of the largest brands in sports, entertainment, news, and talk, including the NFL, the NCAA, the Masters, the Olympics, the GRAMMYs, the Academy of Country Music Awards, the American Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, Westwood One News, and more. Additionally, it is the nation's leading provider of country music and lifestyle content through its NASH brand, which serves country fans nationwide through radio programming, exclusive digital content, and live events. For more information, visit www.cumulus.com.

About Kix Brooks

In addition to his success as one-half of country music’s must successful duo of all time, Kix Brooks continues to his career as a solo touring/recording artist while simultaneously exploring new paths. The CMA Humanitarian award-winner’s extensive resume includes lead acting and film producer credits, three CMA “National Broadcast Personality of The Year” awards for American Country Countdown, hosting his Kickin' It with Kix radio show five nights a week, a Cooking Channel series “Steak Out with Kix Brooks,” co-owner of Nashville’s award-winning winery Arrington Vineyards, which was just named the top Tennessee winery of the year for the third time by at the New York International Wine Festival. This year, the Nashville Entrepreneur Center recognized his diversified spectrum of success as he was inducted into the EC Hall of Fame. Brooks & Dunn will pick up the next leg of Reba, Brooks & Dunn Together In Vegas at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in November. For more information, visit www.kixbrooks.com.

Contact: Lisa Dollinger
Dollinger Strategic Communication for Cumulus Media