Nexstar Bringing Back Airing National Anthem

One of the nation’s biggest station owners, Nexstar Media Group, is bringing back the daily playing of the national anthem, which traditionally marked the beginning and end of the broadcast day.

Nexstar is working with Broadcast Music Inc. and Belmont University’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business to produce the series which will feature emerging singers and songwriters.

The feature will begin Labor Day on Nexstar’s 171 stations in 100 markets.

In June, Gray Television announced that its stations would begin playing the Star Spangled Banner each day. Gray’s version of the anthem is sung by nine-year-old Reina Ozbay of Florida.

“Nexstar’s core mission is to provide exceptional service to the local communities where we operate across America through our organization-wide commitment to localism, unbiased local broadcast journalism and telling the local stories that matter to our viewers and their families,” stated Tim Busch, president of Nexstar Broadcasting.

“Nexstar’s local teams take great pride in their ability to bring the local communities they serve together and that is why we are excited to partner with BMI and Belmont University to broadcast this new daily series featuring the Star-Spangled Banner that will air 365 days of each year,” Busch said. “This unique collaboration supports higher education in business for the music and entertainment industry, while providing aspiring professional artists and songwriters a national distribution platform to showcase their respective talents. We look forward to returning the time-honored tradition of including the National Anthem in our stations’ broadcasts with this new partnership.”

The first group of songwriters to be featured include Nashville-based Brian Sutherland, Texas native Kristen Kelly, and 2018 American Idol contestant Julia Cole.

“This unique partnership gives BMI’s songwriters a wonderful platform to showcase their vocal talent to viewers across the country,” said Dan Spears, VP, industry relations, at BMI. “We’re thrilled that Belmont University’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business has generously provided its state-of-the-art recording studio as well. I’m looking forward to hearing how our songwriters perform their own special rendition of one of the nation’s most beloved patriotic songs.”

Nexstar is awaiting FCC approval of its agreement to acquire stations owned by Tribune Media.

The broadcaster also just ended a long dispute with AT&T that had its stations blacked out to DirecTV subscribers (this reference has been updated).

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.