Cumulus and Big Machine Label Group Launch NASH ICONS Brand

Getty Images
Scott Borchetta: Making deals.

Radio station and the leading country label join forces to promote veteran greats via record label and live events business.

Radio chain Cumulus and country music powerhouse Big Machine Label Group, home of Taylor Swift, among others, have partnered to expand the growing NASH platform with the launch of a new record label and live events business devoted to veteran artists, dubbed NASH ICONS.

NASH ICONS will provide a new distribution platform for future recordings of established country stars through a new record label. Cumulus will separately introduce new NASH ICONS branding on some owned-and-operated radio stations, as well as create and syndicate NASH ICONS content to affiliate stations through WestwoodOne.

Driven by country music fans’ desire for more exposure to their all-time favorite artists, NASH ICONS will serve to complement the more contemporary-focused NASH brand. Like its sister brand, NASH ICONS will provide advertisers the opportunity to engage with its fan base across a multi-media platform that spans radio, television, digital, magazine and live events.

PHOTOS: Taylor Swift Sees 'Red' at Sold-Out Staples Center Show

CEO Scott Borchetta’s Nashville-based Big Machine Label Group is home to, aside from Swift, such contemporary country stars as Tim McGraw, Reba, Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry and Florida Georgia Line. The label was named by Billboard the No. 1 independent record label based on a combination of sales and radio airplay for its roster.

Said Cumulus ceo Lew Dickey: "We are excited to partner with Scott and Big Machine on the creation of NASH ICONS. This is an important line extension for our NASH brand that provides a new multi-media platform for Country music’s most prolific artists from the last two decades.”

Added Big Machine president/ceo Borchetta: “There are so many iconic country artists who are still passionate about recording new music and hearing their biggest hits on the radio. NASH ICONS will allow so many of these artists to do both. Big Machine Label Group is proud to partner with Cumulus in a way that allows us to keep entertaining the millions of fans of these all-time favorite artists.”

Cumulus will create and distribute a 24x7 NASH ICONS format and a long-form NASH ICONS feature show. The expansion of NASH to include NASH ICONS will allow the same markets to have NASH and NASH ICONS radio stations. NASH ICONS will also feature live events, merchandising, video and a section in NASH magazine, all coordinated to expand opportunities for country fans to enjoy the iconic stars they love.

STORY: Republic's David Nathan Now Part of Scott Borchetta's Big Machine 

NASH ICONS will be based at the NASH Campus in Nashville, the nation's only multi-media facility devoted solely to producing and distributing content based on the country music lifestyle. The NASH campus includes three studios designed for a combination of TV and radio programming, indoor and outdoor event space, a print newsroom and extensive office space. Leading country stars including Swift, Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum and Sheryl Crow are among the early visitors who’ve already spent time at the NASH campus.

All 68 Cumulus-owned Country stations are "Powered by NASH" and exclusive programming from the NASH campus currently airs on more than 400 radio stations nationwide through WestwoodOne, the wholly owned subsidiary of Cumulus that creates and distributes content. Cumulus is also an investor in digital audio provider Rdio, which will soon feature dedicated NASH and NASH ICON programming.

Cumulus created the NASH entertainment brand based on the Country music lifestyle in 2013 starting with flagship radio station NASH FM 94.7 in New York City, which has rapidly become one of the most-listened-to Country stations in the nation. 

NASH ICONS is the official name for the Cumulus- Big Machine Joint Venture, which has been formed to create recorded and live music content by the most prolific country artists from the last two decades.

The first artists involved have yet to be announced.