WNXP in Nashville is the newest public radio Music Discovery station in America and today received three “Best of Nashville” awards from Nashville Scene magazine. The comments Nashville Scene included in their announcements say it best:
Best New Radio Station: WNXP – “Against stacked odds, WNXP has blown past those lofty expectations. Under the leadership of longtime scene fixtures like Jason Moon Wilkins and Jewly Hight, WNXP has quickly demonstrated a commitment to uplifting diverse voices in the Nashville music community and keeping a consistent eclectic indie groove.”
Best Program Director: Jason Moon Wilkins – “He (Jason) created a radio station that blurred genre lines and showed Nashville as a community that is Black, white, country, soul, hip-hop, rock in all its forms and folk. Even more than that, he and his team — which notably includes editorial director Jewly Hight — have shown Nashville’s music scene to be vital and alive in a way that proves our Music City bona fides.”
Best New Voice on the Radio: Marquis Munson – “Munson, who is both the evening show DJ and the production manager at the station, feels like a familiar voice, even though he’s only been serving us tunes for the past year or so. Like a close friend might, Munson reveals to a listener his excitement about a song, whether it be hip-hop or country or something a little further afield.”
Anyone who hears WNXP immediately recognizes a new approach to music journalism. Born from the DNA of sister station WPLN, Nashville’s NPR News station, WNXP is pioneering an editorial approach between the songs that others will surely follow. The fact that they went outside of radio to find an off-air Editorial Director, Jewly Hight, to drive their music journalism both on air and on their website and socials, is testimony to their new approach. Local hosts Celia Gregory, Emily Young, Ayisha Jaffer, Wilkins and Munson represent the diversity of new Nashville and guide listeners through the music with an overt approach to music journalism that is a perfect complement to Hight’s compelling feature content.
Program Director Jason Moon Wilkins has created a new music discovery mix that is highly inclusive of diverse artists. The genre-bending sound he created is very different compared to traditional radio formats and even their public radio cousins in other markets. Their support of Nashville musicians is also evident within minutes of tuning in.
As with all radio stations, WNXP is a direct reflection of their leadership. President/CEO Steve Swenson brings major market commercial radio chops to the operation that has built a first-class team with the resources they need to succeed.
Not unlike the paths of other tastemaker music stations in the country, such as KUTX in Austin, KEXP in Seattle, and The Current in Minneapolis, WNXP is being showered with critical acclaim ahead of ratings success. Recognition of doing something different and better than any other local station is just one of many steps on a long road that started less than a year ago when they launched. The “Nashville Music Experience” has just begun.