You Can Now Listen To The Grand O Opry Every
On The Sirius Radio Network Channel 111
Out Of the Past? Ed
Gaylord, seated right, laughs at a joke made by country music legend Roy
Acuff, left, on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. after three-quarters of a
century, the weekly radio show that made stars out of people like comedian
Minnie Pearl, front, may be leaving Nashville, Tenn.'s airwaves
The Grand Ole Opry
Opry’s Radio Home May Switch To Sports
76 years, the Nashville
country station that created the Grand Ole Opry and broadcast it for 76
years may dump the country music format for sports. Sources within Gayland
Entertainment, who spoke on condition of anonymity, say executive are
strongly considering syndication of its weekly Opry show, the longest
continuously running music show in radio. Gaylord would keep the rights to
the show, but sell it other stations for broadcasting. The would leave the
company free to switch the format for WSM-AM radio Currently marketing
itself with the slogan “Committed To Country Music” Always Will Be –
To All Sports.
executives met last week with employees, who were instructed not to
discuss details with reports. They also set up two telephone lines to
handle the questions streaming in from fans. Colin Reed, Gaylord’s
president and chief executive officer, said no decision has been made.
We’re not at a point yet that we have determined absolutely
unequivocally we are going to migrate from classic country music on WSM-AM
at this stage, Reed said Friday’s editions of The Tennessean. At the end
of the day we may not convert WSM-AM to anything other than what it is
today. Reed confirmed that the company has talked with ESPN about sports
programming but said no definitive agreement had been signed.
founded in 1925, was one nation’s original clear channel stations –
radio stations that have exclusive nationwide rights to a given frequency.
It was started to advertise insurance by the National Life and Accident
Insurance Co. WSM stands for “We Shield Millions.“ Originally, the
station played mostly light classical and dance band music. To the dismay
of upper-class Nashville , a
program featuring folk fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson proved wildly popular.
The program first aired about a month after the station debuted, but it
didn’t get the Grand Ole Opry until 1927, a play on the Grand Opera
segment that preceded the show.
show grew to become the influential in the country music, helping make
stars of Hank Williams Sr, Pasty Cline, Minnie Pearl and sores
others. WSM’s signal could be heard cost to coast at night for decades.
Today it reaches 38 states and is the last clear channel station not
convert to news, talk or sports. The company is in the midst of a major
restructuring to focus on its more profitable convention hotel and
hospitality business. Gaylord announced a third quarter loss of $45.1
million in November, and it has sold several assets and closed divisions
over the past year, including two film divisions and two record labels.
bought WSM, the Grand Ole Opry, TNN, Opryland and related properties in
1983. its other holdings include music publishing companies and part of
the Nashville Predators professional hockey franchise.
On September 12, Willie Nelson will release his first .