neXt2rock — a National and Local Grassroots Search for America’s Newest Rock Star — to Guarantee Winning Artist Major Label Recording Contract and Opportunity for National Radio Play

Mentor Judge and Iconic Bush Frontman Gavin Rossdale Drops Video This Week Sharing the Importance of Fans

NEW YORK (October 20, 2017) — Cumulus Media’s neXt2rock 2017 competition — a national and local grassroots search for the nation’s newest rock star — is off to a roaring start with over 1,800 submissions, and thousands of fans weighing in on their favorites thus far. The winner of this four-month-long competition will receive a record deal with Big Machine/John Varvatos Records, as well as substantial exposure, commensurate with a major label release, on Cumulus radio stations nationwide.

Emerging artists will first be rated by Cumulus listeners — currently underway now and continuing through Oct. 25, 11:59 pm ET. Fans are invited to listen and rate artists’ submitted music, and then socially share their favorite(s). All those participating in the rating process will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes to win a trip to the neXt2rock 2017 finale at the Viper Room in Los Angeles on Dec. 12.

Mentor Judges for the competition’s finale include some of rock’s most successful and passionate purveyors: Big Machine Label Group President & CEO Scott Borchetta; musician, songwriter and producer Desmond Child; record producer Bob Ezrin; Sex Pistols’ guitarist and host of “Jonesy’s Jukebox” Steve Jones; and Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale.

Video messages from the mentor judges can be found at neXt2rock’s Facebook page, and Rossdale just released a personal video this week extolling the virtues and importance of fans to the neXt2rock competition and to the artists they love and support.

In November, mentor judges Rossdale and Borchetta will host weekly Twitter Q&As to advise contestants and further engage fans, and details and dates will be announced soon.

With the launch of neXt2rock under Cumulus Media’s “Next” franchise, Cumulus pays tribute to the great tradition of radio as a launch pad for the up-and-coming artists of today who become the legendary bands of tomorrow, and also celebrates rock music in all its irreverent, loud, poetic and powerful formats. In its 3rd year hosting the “Next” franchise platform, Cumulus Media is the first radio broadcaster to offer its national platform to support unsigned artists.

“It’s refreshing and exciting to see and hear the wide spectrum of entries we’ve received for our first neXt2rock competition,” said Mike McVay, Executive Vice President, Content & Programming. “It’s especially encouraging to see how diverse the submissions are within the genre, which further proves that rock music is alive and well, and its future remains bright.”

Sixty-One Cumulus stations in 47 markets, including Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Minneapolis, have conducted local grassroots searches, with additional national participation made possible by Cumulus’ digital properties and syndicated rock shows.

How the Competition Works

Sept. 6 – Oct. 4: Local artists enter the competition by uploading their original song via participating local station websites (see full station list at

Oct. 6 – Oct. 25: Listeners are invited to listen and rate artists’ music, and socially share their favorites to encourage other fans to rate. All participants are automatically entered in a sweepstakes to win a trip to the contest finale on December 12 at the Viper Room in Los Angeles.

Nov. 1 – Nov. 25: Local music industry professionals in participating markets judge each competitor’s fan-rated original song. Local markets host live events or select their finalist by judging the contestants from a video of a recent live performance.

Nov. 26 – Dec. 1: Local winners move on to the national challenge, submitting a live performance video. Rock industry professionals select the top five artists.

Dec. 12: Five national finalists compete at a live concert event, at the Viper Room in Los Angeles, where the panel of celebrity mentor judges selects the neXt2rock 2017 winner.

Rock is Thriving
Across radio, one out of every three (33%) Americans listens to rock music weekly. The rising popularity of the rock genre can be attributed to a younger audience coming to the format, with Millennials making up more than 30% of weekly listeners. (Source: Nielsen Audio Fall 2016)

Cumulus reaches over 245 million listeners weekly, and is home to some of radio’s most iconic rock stations, including KLOS, KQRS, WLUP, KATT, WGRF and KSAN — all of which were recently included in Radio Ink’s list of the Greatest AOR Stations of All Time.


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Gavin Rossdale
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Scott Borchetta
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Steve Jones
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Desmond Child
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Bob Ezrin
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National Sponsor

neXt2rock 2017 is sponsored nationally by Tile, the world’s best-selling Bluetooth tracker.

neXt2rock2017 is Cumulus Media’s second installment of its “Next” franchise, which was launched last year with NASH Next, the successful country version of the competition. While television boasts several talent competitions, the “Next” franchise platform is the first to radio broadcaster to offer its winners coveted radio play, which is the most effective medium to cultivate an artist and propel a major music career.

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 447 owned-and-operated stations broadcasting in 90 US media markets (including eight of the top 10), 8,000 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