According to a lengthy write-up in Variety, his songs have started reappearing on stations owned by iHeartMedia, Cumulus Media, Cox Media, TownSquare Media and other large stations and chains in the United States.
Most of the top executives have decided that it is now up to the discretion of each independent station to decide whether or not they want to play his music, whereas before, it was a company-wide ban.
According to one top-label executive, unlike seemingly everything else regarding Wallen this past year, this move has been much more subtle:
“There was no fanfare at all when people started adding it back in. It’s been completely subdued and unnoticed. It’s like a soft opening.”
“Nobody is saying, ‘Guess what’s coming up next, a guy you haven’t heard in six months!’
It’s a thing that people are going to do quietly and not want to make a lot of noise about. It’s like, have him blend back into the mosaic of the thing and not make a big deal about it.”
And Audacy (formerly Entercom), might be the only radio station entity who is still keeping Morgan off its airwaves altogether.
The official data shows that,
“The vast majority of stations across all ownership groups look to have played Wallen between 10-30 times in the first nine days of the month — a one-to-three-plays-a-day rate that officially qualifies as dipping a toe back in.”
So, you shouldn’t be all that surprised if you hear “Chasin’ You” or “Whiskey Glasses” on your local station from here on out (they’re only playing what’s classified as “recurrent” singles, so it’s not likely you’ll hear anything from his most recent record quite yet).
Again, it remains to be seen if all of this really means much in terms of the near future and if Morgan will be playing shows later in the year, or even if it means he intends on releasing some new music sooner rather than later.
Within the country music industry, it’s really never been so much of a question as to “if” he would make a comeback in the genre, but rather “when.” And all of this signals that a comeback in some form, slowly but surely, is likely underway.