NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Hubbard Radio personality, Fitz, was named the permanent host of Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 earlier this month. The Texas native is set to become the third host in the 45-year history of country music’s biggest, most-honored and longest-running national radio show. Since Bob Kingsley’s cancer diagnosis and ultimate passing in October of this year, country music superstars have been sitting in for the late National Radio Hall of Famer. The multi-year partnership between Hubbard Radio and Nan Kingsley’s KCCS Production will launch the new Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 with Fitz on more than 300 stations worldwide (including Today’s Country 95.5 KNDY) and will feature audio from the Kingsley Archives.
Fitz will host his first show on Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 January 4-5, 2020.
“I listened to Bob Kingsley every weekend when I was a kid,” commented Fitz. “His loss is still sinking in, but I am honored to be taking the reins from the man who instilled in me a lifelong love of country music and the love of the ‘countdown.’ This moment is surreal, and I do not take the responsibility lightly. I am excited and honored to carry his torch and hope that I can do for the next generation of country music fans, what the legendary Bob Kingsley, did for me. I am grateful to Nan Kingsley and hope to make her and Bob proud!”
Fitz, who currently hosts The Fitz Show, The Hit List with Fitz, and Nashville Minute with Fitz, collectively heard on more than 140 stations, will begin to transition many of the 85 stations airing his weekend countdown show (The Hit List with Fitz) to the Country Top 40 franchise effective in January 2020. Bob Kingsley’s longtime production team, including Producer Ken Halford, Chief Engineer Roger Ramsey, GM & Affiliate Sales Lead Shawn Studer, Associate Producer & Archivist Barbara Lyon, and Nashville-based interviewer and writer Deborah Evans-Price will remain in-tact and continue curating the show.
“Bob Kingsley’s cherished legacy lives on in this new venture hosted by Fitz, one of country radio’s most dynamic rising stars,“ said Steve Jones, President and COO, Skyview Networks. “We are honored to provide advertisers the opportunity to engage with the show’s passionate country music fans through one of the most storied brands in the format.”
Bob Kingsley became country music’s first nationally syndicated personality in the late 1970s, at the dawn of network radio and syndicated programming. Together with his wife and business partner Nan, Bob built the largest independently owned and operated audio archive in country music history, with more than 10,000 hours of produced content and an additional 18,000 hours of interviews dating back to 1967.
“Bob and I built a family business working alongside one another for more than 30 years. After spending time with [Hubbard Radio CEO] Ginny Morris and her stellar team discussing their business philosophy, it was very evident to me that Hubbard is the perfect partner to continue the legacy of the countdown show Bob led for 45 years,” stated Nan Kingsley, President/CEO of KCCS Productions. “Having the chance to sit with Fitz, who so eloquently shared his passion for Bob and the show, leaves me feeling excited and encouraged about the next iteration of Country Top 40.”
Bob Kingsley remained adamant throughout his career that it was important to record labels, and essential to the discovery of new music, to feature the complete top 40; Bob’s conviction will continue with Fitz always spotlighting the full top 40, a distinction from other countdown programs. With a global reach, Country Top 40 enjoys coverage in the United States, Canada, UK, Australasia and the Caribbean.
Morris commented, “All of us at Hubbard are humbled by Nan’s trust in our ability to continue their great legacy. We know this is a lifelong dream for Fitz and congratulate him as well.”
Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 will end its run of guest hosts at the end of December, with Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood hosting the year-end show airing the weekend of December 28-29.