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Cumulus, Super Hi-Fi partner on AI-powered HD Radio stations in Nashville

The new stations are called "The Hill" and "Nashville Songwriter Radio," and are available today.

The new stations are called "The Hill" and "Nashville Songwriter Radio," and are available today.

The skyline of Nashville, Tennessee.
The skyline of Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Mike Fox via Unsplash)

Radio broadcaster Cumulus Media is partnering with artificial intelligence audio solutions provider Super Hi-Fi and HD Radio technology owner Xperi to launch two new automated radio stations in Tennessee.

The stations will air on the HD Radio digital sub-carriers of WGFX (104.5 FM, “The Zone”) in Nashville, and will serve as a “testing ground for exciting new radio programs and related services to further enhance and innovate broadcast radio’s prominence in the digital dashboard, all while improving the user experience and increasing broadcaster benefits,” the companies said.

The new stations are called “The Hill” and “Nashville Songwriter Radio,” and can be accessed via HD Radio receivers, including cars with built-in or aftermarket HD Radio tuners.

The stations will be powered by Super Hi-Fi’s “Program Director” software, which uses machine learning tools to help radio stations build and scale their automated programming.

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Additionally, Xperi’s DTS AutoStage will be used to “expand listenership by delivering in-vehicle radio experiences with new levels of audience targeting, personalized discovery, audio delivery and detailed reporting and analytic,” the companies affirmed.

“Super Hi-Fi is excited to collaborate with Xperi and Cumulus to create these groundbreaking HD Radio experiences,” said Zack Zalon, the CEO at Super Hi-Fi. “We’re proud to contribute to the rich musical tapestry of Nashville by bringing these new hyper-local HD Radio formats to the market.”

The companies provided the following information about the two new stations airing on the HD Radio digital sub-carriers of WGFX in Nashville:

Nashville Songwriter Radio, airing on 104.5 WGFX HD3, serves as a platform for the vibrant songwriter community in Nashville. The station features music penned and performed by local songwriters and the classic Nashville sounds that inspires them, celebrating the creative spirit and storytelling for which Nashville is renowned.

The Hill, broadcasting on 104.5 WGFX HD2, is a station designed with the tastes of high school students in mind, featuring a mix of popular and emerging music across Pop, Hip-Hop, Alternative, and Country genres. Developed in partnership with Green Hill High School in Mt Juliet, Tenn., the station offers students a unique opportunity to engage with programming and on-air activities, fostering a practical learning environment within the broadcasting field using next-generation programming and operations tools.

“We’ve seen incredible advances in digital audio in-home and mobile and, as the pioneer and leader in vehicle audio, Xperi is uniquely positioned to develop, test and validate broadcast services that can be rapidly deployed in connected cars,” said Joe D’Angelo, the Senior Vice President of Broadcast and Digital Audio at Xperi. “We see this as the logical next step in our collaboration with both the radio and automotive industries. Bringing new capabilities to the market will provide valuable services to broadcasters, advertisers and most importantly, improve the listening experience for end users.”

“By partnering with Super Hi-Fi and Xperi, we are adopting innovative technology that allows us to connect to new, local communities with targeted programming by leveraging our HD radio ancillary channels that have the potential to reach different audiences around the country,” said Conrad Trautmann, the Chief Technology Officer at Cumulus Media.

The two news HD Radio stations are now broadcasting within the Nashville market.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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