When CJM Productions executive producer Jeff Moseley and producer/director Brian Covert first crafted a pilot for a weekly local television show covering events and personalities in Nashville and Music Row the reaction was lukewarm at best.
“I think our timing wasn’t quite right back in 1999-2000,” Covert recalled. “It didn’t seem like people thought at the time that there was enough of an audience out there for that type of show. But we never gave up on the idea. We believed in it.”
Moseley and Covert put together another pilot in 2006 that resulted in the creation of Inside Music Row. This time they found a willing station host, and the show celebrates its 100th episode Sunday night at 9:30 p.m. on WNAB/CW-58. The program has done well enough to merit a time change, having moved from its original 10:30 slot to 9:30 p.m. after the first season.
Inside Music Row is a production of CJM Productions and The Program Factory LLC. It combines reports from such events as concerts, red carpet events and elite parties with interview segments, features, indie performer showcases and interviews.
Through a partnership with the AMG-TV network that began in December 2007, the show now reaches a weekly audience of more than 24 million viewers in 100 markets, plus thousands more online at Insidemusicrow.com, DigitalRodeo.com, iTunes and AOL Television.
“One thing that sets us apart a bit is that we cover things happening in Nashville in addition to the country music industry, which is our primary focus,” Covert said. “We know that both Country Music Television (CMT) and Great American Country (GAC) have their niches, but not everyone has cable. We take you to events we don’t think everyone else is covering, and we spotlight some other sides of the city. We’ll go to gospel or rock events sometimes, even special programs, though we will always primarily emphasize the country industry.”
Inside Music Row has made some slight changes in the presentation since its debut. Original host Kelly Lynn is now the show’s field reporter, with in-studio host Bailey (she goes by only one name) serving as the audience’s guide through the array of segments presented weekly. Both Bailey and Lynn have extensive backgrounds in television and video, and Covert adds that their current roles really help drive and distinguish the show.
“Kelly has tons of contacts throughout the industry and her experience enables her to instinctively know the kinds of questions to pose in interviews that really bring out things that interest and intrigue audiences,” Covert said. “Bailey has a great delivery and on-camera presence and we felt that would really be enhanced having her in the studio. They make a fantastic team and the show is really getting a lot momentum.”
Each show is devised in an open-ended manner, enabling affiliates to air it at any time during the week. Sunday’s episode will feature highlights from past shows and segments that generated the most audience response, both from online surveys and direct viewer response.
“We’re working on adding more sponsors and making the show bigger and better in the months ahead,” Covert said. “We’ll be focusing our next show on the CMA Festival exclusively, something we did last year and got a lot of great feedback."
One thing that is really gratifying for the producers is watching the growth of new artists, Covert said.
“I remember as one example that we had Katie Armiger on the show when she was just getting started. She was very nervous and anxious to make a good appearance and she was wonderful,” he said. “Now her career’s taking off, and we’re thrilled. That’s one of the things that we want to do — help more deserving artists who might not be on the radar screen yet get the attention and exposure that they deserve.”