A long-missing broadcast tradition is being brought back to the airwaves. Nexstar TV, which owns 171 stations across the country, said it will return the national anthem segment to begin the broadcast day this fall.
The national anthem used to close the day for most television stations back when TV was not a 24/7 phenomenon. When the anthem concluded, a test pattern would take its place. As television matured and programming extended into the wee, small hours of the morning, the practice was discontinued.
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But beginning on Monday, Nexstar stations will play The Star-Spangled Banner at the beginning of each day. The new twist is that Nexstar has partnered with Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) and Belmont University’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business to have the song rendered by up-and-coming musicians.
“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,” said a statement from Tim Busch, president of Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.
“Nexstar’s local teams take great pride in their ability to bring the local communitiesthey 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.”
Nexstar is awaiting FCC approval of its agreement to acquire stations owned by Tribune Media. AT&T and Nexstar Media Group, which is poised to become the No. 1 owner of local TV stations in the U.S., recently resolved a nearly two-month carriage dispute affecting 120 stations in 97 markets.
The companies did not release financial terms but said their new multi-year deal will allow the stations to return to AT&T’s DirecTV, AT&T TV and U-verse systems.