Ever since the joint venture between Cumulus Media and Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Label Group called NASH Icons was announced, one of the biggest questions on the minds of consumers has been what the actual scope of the venture will be. Sold to be the solution to the problem of aging artists getting shuffled off of mainstream radio, NASH Icons looks to revitalize the careers of artists from the last 25 years; artists like Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, and Reba McEntire that are seen to still have great appeal, but have been left behind by country’s current obsession with youth.
On Wednesday it was announced that NASH Icons had made its first hire, and it’s a heavy hitter in the music business. Jim Weatherson, a 35-year veteran of music management has been tapped to be the NASH Icons General Manager; a move that signals a deep commitment from both Cumulus and Big Machine to the endeavor.
Jim Weatherson’s resume includes a recent stint at the Nashville office of 19 Entertainment, best known for its ties to American Idol. Weatherson also worked at artist management group ’13 Management’ which oversees Taylor Swift, and was also previously the general manager of Walt Disney Records. He’s also worked previously with Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts. “I have known Scott Borchetta for nearly 25 years,” Weatherspoon says. “And I am honestly thrilled and honored to finally get to work directly with him and his team as well as Cumulus on this groundbreaking concept.”
“Jim Weatherson is the perfect executive to lead the charge for NASH Icons,” says Scott Borchetta. “We have a longstanding relationship of working together on some of the biggest Country artists and album releases in history. To land him and have his 100% focus on Icons will only lead to one thing: success.”
“Jim’s experience and the respect he’s earned in the music business will enable NASH Icons to quickly become a leader in recording and live events for the Country stars we hold in such high regard,” says John Dickey of Cumulus.
In late May, Cumulus Chairman Lew Dickey said that he expected NASH Icons to recruit big names like Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson, and that announcements on the signings would be happening within a month. Though no artist names have been released yet, the announcement of Jim Weatherson would be a first step to recruiting talent for the label. Meanwhile the rest of country music looks on curiously, wondering if the launch of NASH Icons will result in a true format split.