Industry Ink: KP Entertainment, Midwest Communications, WWE, The Country Network

Ryan Gardenhire

Ryan Gardenhire

Kerri Edwards, President of KP Entertainment (KPE), has hired Ryan Gardenhire as day-to-day manager for Kelleigh Bannen and Platinum-selling artist Cole Swindell. Ryan’s work history includes seven years at the William Morris Agency, five of those as an agent. After leaving the agency in 2009 he formed Breakaway Artists managing The Dirt Drifters and Adam Hood as well as teaming up with Sony/ATV to run their artist development program prior to joining KPE last month.

Ryan will work alongside KPE staff members Dustin Eichten (VP), Waylon Weatherholt (day-to-day manager for Adam Craig and Jon Langston), Jacoby Plyler (Digital Marketing Manager), Ethan Helms (Tour/Digital Content Coordinator) and Cait Murphy (Executive Assistant to Kerri Edwards) as well as KPE President and Owner Edwards.

KP Entertainment’s full artist roster includes Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell, Kelleigh Bannen, CB30, Adam Craig, Jon Langston, Chancie Neal and DJ Rock. The company also operates a publishing arm of Peanut Creek Music, a joint venture with Sony/ATV, as well as a partnership with Kobalt Music Publishing representing songwriter Mike Mobley.

Ryan can be reached at 615-545-9200 or [email protected].


Tom Baldrica Named Operations Manager For Midwest Communications’ Hibbing/Iron Range Cluster

Tom Baldrica

Tom Baldrica

Midwest Communications, Inc. has promoted Tom Baldrica to Operations Manager for the Hibbing/Iron Range cluster of radio stations. Tom joined MWC after a 20 year career in the music industry, most notably as VP/Promotion for Sony Nashville. Tom’s radio career began on the Iron Range at Radio USA.

Baldrica will continue his afternoon show on WUSZ, Hibbing and KTCO, Duluth. Baldrica has also been influential in the development and expansion of the Duke FM (Legends of Country) format for Midwest Communications. The additional duties will have Baldrica oversee the programming operations of WNMT-AM, WMFG AM-FM, WTBX and WUSZ. Once the transfer of stations from Red Rock is complete, he will also supervise WEVE and KGPZ on the Iron Range.

Baldrica reports directly to Market Manager Kristi Westrem and VP/Programming, Jeff McCarthy.


WWE Adds Caitlin DeForest

Caitlin DeForest

Caitlin DeForest

WWE has added Caitlin DeForest in its talent relations department, beginning Nov. 29. DeForest will operate from Stamford, Connecticut. DeForest previously spent five years as a publicist for Webster PR in Nashville.

She can be reached at [email protected].


The Country Network Heads To Roku

the_country_network_logoThe Country Network is heading to Roku’s streaming media platform. Country music fans with the device or Roku-enabled Smart TV can now access their country, Americana, red dirt and Texas programing, as well as TCN’s original programming—including series such as Live from the Couch, On the Rise, Our Land: The Music Highway, Studio B Sessions, and more.

“The addition of Roku is extremely important to us,” states Tim Eaton, President and CEO of The Country Network. “Four in 10 households currently own an OTT streaming device, and by next year, Streaming Media Players penetration will reach 40 percent of all U.S. homes with internet. The number of ways people are receiving TV content is expanding rapidly and we want to be a part of this conversation and be available to fans through a wide variety of sources.”


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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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