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NEAR TRUTHS: SECRETS AND BUYS
We'll miss those smoke-filled rooms. (5/11a)
JUST CALL HIM ACE
Some guys have all the luck. (5/10a)
SONY GETS TOP BMI HONOR
Big ups for the mogul previously known as Big Jon (5/10a)
RAY OF HOPE
Our resident redhead praises girl in red. (5/11a)
'IT'S THE REAL SCHOOL'
Alan Jackson brings back hard country. (5/10a)
RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
WHO'S NEXT?
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
Music City
AIRWAVES:
CHARLIE COOK
7/19/16

VP COUNTRY, CUMULUS MEDIA

Cook with Clare Dunn (l) and Carrie Underwood

The audience share for Country radio appears to be growing nationally. What changes have you made to your stations that you feel helped to bring those numbers up?
The music today is so strong that Music Row has made it easier for Country radio. Blake, Keith, Brett Eldredge, Dierks and Carrie all coming with new projects has been empowering. Newcomers like Maren Morris, Old Dominion and Kelsea Ballerini have added a new sparkle. Just find the right combination and you have a winning station.

Is programming the Country format different than other formats?
It is, in that there’s incredible collaboration between the songwriting, artist and radio communities. We all listen to each other and work to keep the genre growing.

Why do you feel country artists’ relationships with radio are so much stronger than at any other format?
The Country Radio Seminar, the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music bring us all together throughout the year and that builds an incredible force.

What are you doing to make your presence in the digital space bigger in your local markets? How important is social media to your staff/brand?
When reaching for your phone to check Facebook and Twitter happens concurrently with turning on the radio in the morning, the lesson of social media is pretty obvious. We are fortunate that we have the goddess of social media in CumulusLori Lewis; she is our guiding hand.

How important are events, festivals, etc., in growing the brand?
Cumulus Nashville just helped pull off Camp Nash on Memorial Day weekend. In person you see the power of the artist and fan connection. You see how important music is to the discretionary time fulfillment of the listener. I believe that festivals are what drives Country radio growth each summer: winning tickets, interacting with others in a safe environment. Live music is the focus of the fan from Memorial Day to Labor Day.