Executives at ABC have renewed their commitment to Nashville, giving the show a fourth season and putting it within sight of all-important syndication. The Hollywood Reporter has a rundown of all the show decisions made for ABC here.
Ryman Hospitality Properties Chairman and CEO Colin Reed hasn't been shy of late in trumpeting the great numbers put up by his company's Nashville entertainment properties, led by the Ryman Auditorium and Wildhorse Saloon. In the first quarter of this year, that division posted operating profits of $2.1 million on revenues of $16.7 million. Those numbers were up 284 percent and 17 percent, respectively, year over year.
Reed also has in recent quarters repeatedly hinted at grander plans for the division, which has been lifted big time by the overall Nashville tourism boom. But they've been teasings more than anything else and Reed delivered another one on his team's earnings conference call Wednesday morning. Asked how he would value the entertainment business relative to Ryman's core hospitality operation, Reed said he would politely say no to any bidders looking to put an arena business valuation on his entertainment crown jewel. Then came the latest tease.
"We think that this business provides and builds unique content and we're spending more of our time thinking about how we can actually build more content," Reed said.
The state budget passed last week included $8 million in incentives for a potential fourth season of local filming of the ABC show Nashville. A decision on whether the show will return should be made soon. Metro and the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. are preparing their own slices of the incentives pie, but the details are still to be revealed. Nate Rau at The Tennessean has more info here.
In discussions with government officials, representatives from the show prepared a fact sheet touting its impact on the local economy. Local tourism leaders have tied the city's booming leisure travel at least in part to the popularity of "Nashville." However, no official economic impact study has been conducted.
Tullahoma-based Ascend Federal Credit Union has won the race to place its name atop the West Riverfront Park amphitheater, which will be able to hold 6,800 people and open July 30 with a concert headlined by country star Eric Church.
The deal, financial terms for which were not disclosed during an announcement event today, is for 10 years.
Ascend has $1.7 billion in assets, $943 million in loans and about 150,000 members, according to data from the National Credit Union Administration. It posted net income of $19.1 million in 2014, up from $17.1 million the year before. Nine of the organization's 18 locations are in the Nashville MSA, with its main Nashville office having opened on Charlotte Avenue in Midtown last year.
“With this amphitheater, Ascend commits to being the credit union of choice for residents of Nashville and Middle Tennessee,” said Caren Gabriel, president and CEO of Ascend. “And, because our growth objectives are similar to those of this city, we believe the Ascend Amphitheater will be pivotal in securing Nashville’s claim as the entertainment capital of the South.”
Ascend Amphitheater will this summer also host Steely Dan, Phish and ZZ Top, among others. Patrick Rodgers and Adam Gold have a lot more info on the musical side of things here.
Nashville-based Music Pub Works announced today it has named Jill Napier vice president and general manager.
MPW, which launched last November and is a subsidiary of Zavitson Music Group, is a cloud-based web application that provides a streamlined approach to digital management of cataloging, registering, pitching and revenue collection for songs.
Napier (pictured) will help oversee daily operations at MPW and will be actively engaged in client relations, administrative services and long-term business development and strategic direction.
Prior to joining MPW, Napier was the director of copyright management at Music Services Inc., at which she specialized in YouTube monetization. In this role, she assisted clients that included Reach Records, LifeWay, NooN Records, Razor and Tie and Curb Records.
Napier also served as the executive vice president at Big Loud Bucks, representing catalog assets and a songwriters roster that included Craig Wiseman, Chris Tompkins, and Jason Aldean. In addition, she worked as VP of business affairs at Ten Ten Music Group, working closely with Keith Urban, Robert Ellis Orrall and Harley Allen.
"Music Pub Works was developed by musicians and publishers for musicians and publishers," said Denise Zavitson, MPW founder and creator "So when we were looking for a professional who could take our product and services to the next level, we wanted to connect with someone who knew the music business from the inside out. That person is Jill Napier and we are thrilled she has joined our team."
A frequent speaker on copyright issues at universities, music associations and legal organizations, Napier is the founder and former president of the Nashville chapter of the Association of Independent Music Publishers. In addition, she is the current vice chair of the Copyright Society of the South, and a member of Hats Across the Row benefitting the Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation.
Two new music entertainment groups are setting up shop in Nashville. WildFire7, under the umbrella of Wildfire Media Group, and 7th Wave Entertainment Group are both bound for Music Row.
WildFire7 is a full-service management, production and entertainment company. Danny McGuffey, former chief marketing officer at Integrity Music, is teaming up with past advertising production executives Joe Sicurella and Adam Joseph to launch the venture. The company is also opening an office in New York City.
“We are truly excited to birth a new model in faith based entertainment management, licensing and production in the heart of the world’s entertainment capitals; New York City and Nashville, Tennessee,” McGuffey said in a release.
The mastermind behind 7th Wave Entertainment is Brad Kash, former vice president for Big Machine Label Group. The company will provide business management, royalty processing and other services for artists, producers, publishers and more. It will also advise and support independent record labels.
“Serving as a member of the Big Machine executive team reporting to Scott Borchetta and COO Andrew Kautz was an incredible education and experience and I look forward to delivering the same high level of passion, creativity and success to our clients,” Kash said in a release.