When Nashville Public Radio announced that it was ditching the classical format it had broadcast on 91.1 FM since 2011 in favor of a music discovery station akin to NPR Music heavyweight KEXP, it set the bar awfully high for itself as the new kid on the radio dial. Among the challenges was holding its own with stalwart indie commercial station Lightning 100 and freeform upstarts WXNA — a community station started by former community DJs on WRVU, aka 91 Rock, the combination student-and-community station whose terrestrial broadcast was on 91.1 for six decades before Vanderbilt University sold its broadcast rights to Nashville Public Radio amid much public outcry. Another big hurdle: Emerging from the shadow of that legacy. Against stacked odds, WNXP has blown past those lofty expectations. Under the leadership of longtime scene fixtures like Jason Moon Wilkins and Jewly Hight, WNXP has quickly demonstrated a commitment to uplifting diverse voices in the Nashville music community and keeping a consistent eclectic indie groove. We’ll never stop missing WRVU — and the rise of WXNA has softened that blow — but WNXP is a compelling addition to the best offerings on Nashville’s FM dial.

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