The ink has barely dried on the agreement between Cumulus Media and Big Machine Label Group to create a new record label country music (Nash Icons) and the business of live events. Now comes the fun part. Big Machine president / CEO Scott Borchetta is looking to sign big stars – and Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson and Shania Twain are all said to be in his sights.
“I would like to see Scott make an announcement in the next 30 days,” says CEO Lew Dickey of Cumulus.
The highest rainfall of this new project? The reorganization of the static world of country radio. Nash format icons reach a demographic that has been marginalized.
“Not that 35 – to 54-year-old do not like shots,” Dickey says. “Just missing the greatest country artists of the past two decades, they are still recording and touring, but do not get enough exposure today.”
The bet is that Nash Icons can serve as a platform for new music by veteran artists and a bridge between the current hits and classics.
“While in the pop that has the middle ground of [top adult 40] between the top 40 and classic hits, there really is no such thing in the country,” says Dickey. Cumulus plans to offer affiliates format – including 70 field stations owned, plus another 1,500 through its network Westwood One – in 2015.
The company will also include syndicated programming line Cumulus 40 years warhorse American Country Countdown, along with the content for printing, and distribution of digital video. A tour Icons Nash is in the works for next summer. Dickey says, “We want to be thought of as an omni channel, brand platform.”