NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) Steve Buchanan, president of Opry Entertainment Group and executive producer of television show “Nashville,” announced Feb. 9 his retirement from OEG, with the show reportedly ending with it.
Buchanan ran the company for 33 years but said that he would retire in June to take some time to pursue personal projects. The show was already in its concluding season.
“I haven’t really wanted to invest a lot of effort or brainpower into figuring out the next move,” Buchanan told The Tennessean. “I have film and television ideas and projects, and I’m interested in seeing where they can go and if they can go and when they can go. I really just want to be open to considering new things.”
Buchanan joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1985 as its first marketing manager and is crediting with developing the rebirth of the Opry as well as returning the Ryman Auditorium to its rightful place of prestige as the original home of country music. At the time he was tasked with bringing fans to the Opry when the Opry was deemed irrelevant.
“I was thinking … ‘How do I help bring new artists to this stage?’” Buchanan told the paper. “Relevance is key, so how do you make it relevant and how do you take something that has such great awareness and create more familiarity? How do you do a better job of telling the Opry’s story?”
His answer was a public relations campaign and promotional plans, which worked; Buchanan proceeded to revitalize the Mother Church of country music after years of disrepair.
“The Opry and the Ryman have been central passions in my life for over 33 years, to be exact,” Buchanan said. “I look at it as my attachment will never diminish, but there are other things I want to do and accomplish. I have a mix of loss, fear and excitement. But, it feels like the time to make that leap.”
He is also credited with touring the stars of “Nashville.”