Heartland Working to Return to Nashville Cable

March 16, 2017

Chattanooga, Tenn. (March 15, 2017) – The Heartland Network is asking country music lovers and Nashville-based television content providers to assist them in regaining their presence in Nashville’s cable homes on Comcast Cable and Spectrum Communications after the network moved to its new over-the-air home, WLLC 42.4, on November 1, 2016.

Heartland, previously known as The Nashville Network, had previously been available on Nashville and Middle Tennessee cable providers since its launch on November 1, 2012. Currently available over-the-air in Music City on WLLC channel on 42.4, both Heartland and WLLC have continued negotiations with Comcast’s local and regional management operations to continue carrying the network after its move in November last year. Luken Communications, LLC, the Chattanooga-based owners of the network, say Heartland not only has a strong, loyal following in the market, but also provides a much-needed outlet for Nashville-based producers of original content.

“For over four years, we’ve built a strong and engaged fan base in the market,” said Emily Bronze, Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Luken Communications. “Heartland is a television network built in Nashville, and in many ways, built for Nashville. Our line-up consists of more than 70 hours of classic and current shows produced in Nashville, making Heartland a perfect fit for the market.”

Bronze said Nashville area cable viewers can help bring Heartland back to their lineups by contacting their providers to demand its return.  “Viewers and cable subscribers can call (615) 492-4400 and leave a voicemail with their name, zip code, and cable provider.  Our team will forward messages to the decision makers for their service.” Bronze added, “Requests can also be emailed to Nashville@watchheartlandtv.com. For more information about Heartland, we encourage country music fans to visit www.watchheartlandtv.com or www.facebook.com/WatchHeartlandTV.”

Jim Baumann, Founder and Chief Engineer for JKB Associates, WLLC’s ownership group, was excited to add Heartland to his stable of networks, most of which currently air on Comcast in Nashville.

Bauman said, “As one of the very few locally owned and operated stations in Nashville, we were thrilled to add Heartland to our line-up.” Bauman added, “The localism and the service it provides both to consumers and music business entities in the Nashville area are huge assets. We want to bring Heartland to as many people in the market as possible, both on cable and over the air.”

The Heartland program schedule includes a simulcast of WSM Radio’s popular Coffee, Country & Cody morning show hosted by Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Famer Bill Cody. Cody, currently in his 22nd year as morning show host of WSM’s “Coffee, Country & Cody,” is also a Grand Ole Opry announcer and host.

“Every morning on Coffee, Country & Cody on 650AM WSM, we share Heartland’s passion and commitment to country music and the fans who love it, border to border and coast to coast,” said Cody. He added, “There’s such a romance about Nashville, arguably more than any other city in the country, right now. It’s a love affair; you can feel it everywhere you go. I can’t even begin to overstate the demand I’ve received…phone calls, email, social media, gas station, grocery store…even at church! Fans are adamant about getting The Heartland Network back on cable here in Nashville.”

Other locally-produced content originating from Nashville includes new syndicated and first run shows, along with digitally-restored content pulled from the vaults of Music Row. Heartland’s line-up includes Reflections with host Keith Bilbrey, Bluegrass Ridge, Country Standard Time, Music City Tonight, Texas Music Scene, Gaither Gospel Hour, classic episodes of Crook & Chase, music video blocks Country Music Today and Country Music Rewind, the recently-announced return of Larry’s Country Diner and Country’s Family Reunion, and many more.

Jeff Moseley, Executive Producer of CJM Productions said, "As the producer of several programs featured on Heartland as well as a Nashville native, I know firsthand the tremendous, loyal viewership of Heartland, especially in the Music City region. In the five short months since Heartland was dropped from Nashville’s Comcast lineup, I’ve received communications from not only TV viewers but from music industry executives who recognized the impact Heartland has on its viewers, especially within the Nashville music industry.” Moseley, whose series include Reflections, Bluegrass Ridge, Nashville Insider and more, added, “It's time to bring back Heartland to Comcast in Nashville and their thousands of Heartland fans."

Artists are also eager to see the network return to cable. Exposure on Heartland is vital to both new artists and established acts. When asked about Heartland, Jodi Lynn Dawes, spokesperson for the country group Exile, said, “The Heartland Network is important to Exile, traditional country, and Nashville. It's very important that Comcast include Heartland in its programming lineup, especially here in the Capital of Country Music!"

About Luken Communications:

Luken Communications offers diverse, family-friendly programming with its collection of networks delivered via a blend of over-the-air, cable and satellite television.  The current network offerings include Retro TV, The Heartland Network, Rev’n, The Action Channel, The Family Channel and Frost Great Outdoors (FGO).  Luken Communications’ flagship Retro TV was one of the first digital broadcast networks launched in 2005.