Nashville Notes: Acme Feed & Seed Launches Radio Station; Moves at iHeartMedia, Warner/Chappell
Here is your weekly roundup of goings on -- artist signings, staffing moves, good news and more -- in the wide world of country music.
Beyond the obvious country winners at the Feb. 15 Grammy Awards, the genre left some other footprints in the glitter-bombed dust of the weekend's activities. Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Chris Stapleton and The Band Perry participated in the Feb. 13 tribute to MusiCares person of the year Lionel Richie; Blake Shelton and Cam were on hand for Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy party on Feb. 14; and a Feb. 13 Glenn Frey tribute at the Troubadour -- a venue central to the Eagles' formation -- included performances by Jack Ingram and Lee Ann Womack. It's also worth noting that pop singer Meghan Trainor's win as best new artist arrived while she has a song on the country chart. She co-wrote Rascal Flatts' "I Like the Sound of That" (No. 14, Country Airplay).
At least eight Nashville music executives made the list as Billboard unveiled its annual all-genre Power 100. Music City players on the 2016 list who weren't on the 2015 Power 100 include Sony Music Nashville chairman/CEO Randy Goodman, Sandbox Entertainment president/CEO Jason Owen and Country Music Association CEO Sarah Trahern. Who else made it, and where did they rank? Go here for the full rundown.
Toby Keith will perform at the 17th hole in the first-ever Military Appreciation Day concert at the Players golf tournament on May 10 in Pointe Vedra Beach, Fla. Elsewhere on the links, Darius Rucker received a special award of merit on Feb. 11 from the National Golf Course Owners Association in San Diego. The Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation has raised $1.8 million for charity since 2000, in part through his band's annual Monday After the Masters golf tournament.
Two North Carolina-bred country singers are heading back to school in the Tar Heel State. Chase Rice will stop at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, on April 16 for the second show on his just-announced Back to College Tour. Chris Lane likewise returns to his alma mater when he throws out the first pitch on Feb. 19 at Robert & Mariam Hayes Stadium as the UNC Charlotte 49ers kick off their baseball season.
RADIO MOVERS & SHAKERS
Five programmers were promoted to division executive vp programming for the iHeartMedia National Programming Group, including two who are familiar in the country ranks. WMZQ Washington, D.C., PD Meg Stevens takes an executive vp position in the Northeast region, while iHeartMedia/Phoenix senior vp programming Steve Geofferies, whose country experience includes work with KNIX Phoenix and WKKT Charlotte, N.C., is an executive vp in the West.
WIL St. Louis hired Scott Roddy as PD. He arrives after three years as PD for adult contemporary KAFE Bellingham, Wash.
"Mad Dog" Mike West joined PD Kris Daniels on the morning show at KCYE Las Vegas on Feb. 15, moving from the station's night shift.
KFDI Wichita added Bobby Knight as afternoon host. He recently handled mornings for KQLA Manhattan, Kan.
Nashville's Acme Feed & Seed launched Acme Radio on Feb. 10 through the global TuneIn app. "Just like Nashville, Acme Radio is about more than just music," the popular restaurant/event space said in the announcement. "From wellness to food to football and everything in between, Acme Radio will also host unique lifestyle programming that harnesses the entrepreneurial spirit of Music City, without extraneous pressures or the need for political correctness."
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Midwest/Springfield, Mo., hired Scott Meier as the GM for its five-station cluster, including country KOMG, RadioInfo.com reported. He was most recently the Spartan Sports Network's Detroit sales manager.
Ashley King joined KSSN Little Rock, Ark., as midday host/assistant PD/music director, according to RadioInfo.com. Her Twitter page indicates that she continues her shifts on KKIX Fayetteville and KMAG Fort Smith, both in Arkansas.
Jeana Shepard moved to middays at KMLE Phoenix from weekends, InsideRadio.com reported.
'ROUND THE ROW
Promotion and label services company Star Farm Nashville promoted Brad Helton to vp from senior director and Chris Borchetta to senior director from West Coast director.
Warner/Chappell Nashville hired Will Overton as A&R manager. He was previously Droptine Music A&R director.
Songwriter Michael Tyler ("Somewhere on a Beach") signed a recording deal with Reviver.
John Michael Montgomery engaged Webster Public Relations for media.
The BMI Foundation is accepting applications for a $5,000 Nashville songwriting scholarship.
The International Bluegrass Music Association has set its World of Bluegrass event, which includes its annual awards, for Sept. 27-Oct. 1 in Raleigh, N.C.
The next Who Knew networking event will take place March 10 at Nashville's 3rd & Lindsley. Panelists include CMT senior vp music strategy Leslie Fram, Rounder vp A&R Tracy Gershon and Mac Presents president Marcie Allen.
Songwriter Kim Williams died Feb. 11. A 2012 inductee in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, he penned such hits as Randy Travis' "Three Wooden Crosses," Reba McEntire's "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" and Garth Brooks' "Ain't Goin' Down (Til the Sun Comes Up).”
Musician Rick Wright died Feb. 7 in a two-car accident in White House, Tenn., The Tennessean reported. He was the lead guitarist for Connie Smith.
Joey Floyd died Feb. 15 of cancer. He played fiddle, banjo and acoustic guitar in Toby Keith's Easy Money Band.
We don't know who's playing yet, but it's a sure bet that the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game on June 7 will draw a big set of country stars.
Traditionally set for Saturday during the CMA Music Festival, the 2016 version of the slow-pitch benefit moves to Tuesday afternoon, just ahead of the Nashville festival, for the first time as it raises money for the fight against cancer. For the second year, it takes place at the new Nashville Sounds AAA stadium, First Tennessee Park.
Historically, the game mixes established stars and newcomers. Previous participants have included Vince Gill, Carrie Underwood, Terri Clark, Clay Walker, Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line.
This article first appeared in Billboard's Country Update -- sign up here.