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Cumulus could make it happen

Jeffrey Remz  |  January 23, 2013

Cumulus radio is looking to shake up the musical landscape big time. First, the radio station giant based in Atlanta turned country music back on in New York City earlier this week by launching WRXP, 94.7, aka "Nash FM." That marked the first time there was a new country station in the Big Apple in 17 years.

Rest assured they must have done a lot of marketing to determine if that made sense.

On Tuesday, Cumulus went a step further by saying it was going to launch "Nash" brand. That will lead to 83 country stations around the country presumably benefiting from a web site, monthly magazine (I thought those were a thing of the past at this point. Maybe not), social media, concerts and television programming. I read on Tuesday that Cumulus was even entertaining the idea of forming a country cable network.

This marks quite a commitment from Cumulus. The company obviously sees a financial reward here.

But there could be a lot more at stake here musically if successful. What Cumulus could do is help to build country music in a bunch of markets and probably bring it into new areas.

Concerts definitely bring the crowds and with that, loyalty to the local station. I have seen that in Boston with WKLB. The station has done a good job of bringing up-and-coming acts (some are no longer up-and-coming, e.g., Dierks Bentley, The Band Perry) to local clubs.

It's a win/win. The band gains exposure through radio play, and the station gets the credit for bringing the artist to the area. Sometimes the artists have barely gained any traction yet at radio, meaning the station is making a push.

Yet, there are concerns if Cumulus stations will go the milquetoast route and play a bunch of boring songs and artists. Maybe they can be ahead of the curve and promote and push certain artists because of the company's clout. In other words, be a leader, not a follower.

Cumulus could do a lot to further the country brand. Let's hope they do their share in making that happen.

:: Posted at 8:30 PM by Jeffrey Remz ::
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