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NASHVILLE 37201 Acquires Industry Leading News Site ABSOLUTELYGOSPEL.COM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (May 20, 2022) – Industry-leading Gospel music-centric website AbsolutelyGospel.com has joined the Nashville 37201 media and production firm, as announced this week at the 21st Annual Absolutely Gospel Music Awards Celebration in Franklin, Tennessee.

AbsolutelyGospel.com was launched over 25 years ago by media trailblazers Deon & Susan Unthank. Then known as SoGospelNews.com, the e-zine gained prominence in the Southern Gospel industry as the dominant voice for fans online. The site has endured through the years and remained a steady voice in the industry for over two decades. SoGospelNews.com was rebranded as AbsolutelyGospel.com in 2010. The site is currently ran by the Unthanks’ children – Amy Marie Zika and Chris Unthank – and  features a bevy of talented staff writers.

Chris Unthank said, “Our Dad, who passed away this past December, was making plans months before his death to retire and sell the site. Just days before his death, I stood next to his side in the hospital when he made the agreement to sell the site to Nashville 37201 which is headed up by our dear friend Bev McCann. It was our desire to make sure we honored his wishes and got the site into the hands of someone who could really take the site where it needed to go.”

“Our parents have always helped us to make the best decisions in our lives,” recounted Amy Marie Zika. “They were always our spiritual leaders and counselors. Even on Dad’s deathbed, he was making sure we knew the path we needed to go down. If he didn’t set things in motion, he knew we would want to honor their legacy despite not having the time or energy to put into this site like it needed.”

Effective immediately, Nashville 37201 will take over the site’s direction. The company is no stranger to the Gospel music media world, as it produces some of Gospel music’s cutting edge programming like the Music City Show (hosted by Tim Lovelace), the Nashville Beat, and the recently acquired Family Friendly Entertainment television network.

Nashville 37201’s Bev McCann said, “I’m so honored that my good friend Deon entrusted me to follow through the dreams and visions he and Susan had for the site. There are no words to describe how excited and honored I am to continue the Absolutely Gospel legacy.”

Zika and Unthank will remain on in an advisory role until Bev and her staff find their footing with the site. Unthank will continue his role as the Editor-in-Chief through the end of the year as well as stay on as a writer indefinitely.

Zika continued, “This is just ‘good-bye for now’. There are times in our lives when God moves us along to other places and seasons, and while it’s sad to move on, our family has always believed that God blesses faithfulness. We are blessed to have been a part of this amazing Gospel music family for the last 25 years.”

The Unthanks honored Bev this past Tuesday with the Susan Unthank Memorial Award, which honors women in the industry who have made their mark in such a male-dominated industry.

This Monday, AbsolutelyGospel.com will feature two new interviews that were done by Deon Unthank prior to his death as well as new reviews. The Top 40 Weekly Chart – the Southern Gospel industry’s first – will go through a revamp over the next few months.

More information on Nashville 37201 can be found at https://nashville37201.tv/ .

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Formed over 19 years ago by Deon & Susan Unthank originally as SoGospelNews.com, the site was birthed from an email discussion group by the same name. The SoGospelNews email discussion list was created by the Unthanks after the Singing News shut down its extremely popular discussion list. SoGospelNews started as a simple webpage listing artists, fans, individuals, etc. that were avid supporters of the newly formed SoGospelNews talk list. The site eventually took on printing news for Southern Gospel artists, and eventually took on reviewing the latest recordings from both signed and independent artists within the small genre. SoGospelNews became the most viewed Southern Gospel website on the Internet with over 4,000,000 hits per month.

The Unthank family are now involved in the site, as well as the addition of over two dozen staff writers. The website is based out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In April 2010, SoGospelNews changed its name to AbsolutelyGospel.com. The name change allows them to cover news items of not only Southern Gospel, but also Country Gospel, Inspirational, and Black Gospel.

On January 5, 2011, Susan Unthank passed away, leaving the website in control of Deon, their son, Chris, and their daughter Amy.