Four months after Morgan Wallen’s music all but vanished from the U.S. airwaves, most of Mediabase’s 160 reporting stations have begun playing his music again. This includes stations belonging to large ownership chains including iHeartMedia, Cumulus Media and Townsquare Media Group. Wallen’s airplay has increased steadily for several weeks, with more stations putting his music back on their playlists with nearly every reporting cycle.
According to Mediabase, Wallen was the 41st most-played country act among published-panel stations for June 2-8, up from 50th for the prior seven days. Only Cole Swindell had a greater spin increase for those seven days than Wallen’s 756. Of course, that’s still a far cry from Wallen’s stature in 2020, when he was one of Mediabase’s 10 most-played artists for the entire year.
Last week, Wallen’s 2020 chart-topper “Chasin’ You” was the only recurrent among Mediabase’s Top 10 greatest spin gainers. Over the past six weeks, its spins have more than tripled, from 294 to 982.
Several stations in the biggest U.S. markets — including Audacy’s “New York’s Country 94.7” WSNH New York and “US99” WUSN Chicago, Wilson Broadcasting “Go Country 105” KKGO Los Angeles and Beasley Media Group “92.5 XTU” WXTU Philadelphia — still are not playing Wallen’s records, according to Mediabase. None of the reporting stations owned by Audacy and Beasley show that they’re playing Wallen yet.
But most iHeart and Cumulus reporters have resumed playing Wallen’s records, as are stations owned by Townsquare, Cox Media Group, SummitMedia, Saga Communications, Hall Communications and Alpha Media. Last week, 121 of 160 Mediabase country reporters showed at least one spin of a Wallen record, though some of that likely came from syndicated evening and overnight shows.
The following are Wallen’s top five records at country radio for the past week, by spin count:
“Chasin’ You” (982 spins)
“Whiskey Glasses” (855)
“More Than My Hometown” (657)
“7 Summers” (259)
“Wasted on You” (73)
Also, seven billboards supporting Wallen appeared in Nashville this week ahead of Wednesday’s “CMT Music Awards,” according to The Tennessean. The billboards sported a silhouette of a mullet similar to Wallen’s and messages reading, “The fans are speaking. Enough is enough. Music industry, we want to be heard.”
Similar billboards previously have appeared in Los Angeles and Nashville before other award shows.
Wallen’s music was removed from most country stations in February after a video surfaced of the singer using a racial slur. His album, which debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 upon its release in January, spent 10 weeks atop that chart and has not fallen out of the Top 10.