CRS In Action: CRS 2015 Kicks Off With Opening Ceremonies
February 25, 2015 at 4:44 PM (PT)
COUNTRY RADIO SEMINAR (CRS) 2015 OPENING CEREMONIES took place this after noon(2/25), and started off on a high-note when CAPITOL NASHVILLE female newcomer MICKEY GUYTON performer her rendition of the NATIONAL ANTHEM as the U.S. MARINE COLOR GUARD presented the AMERICAN flag. On-hand for a special message was ALS advocate ANTHONY CARBAJAL, who addressed the audience after a powerful video showing the overwhelming response to last SUMMER's "Ice Bucket Challenge" awareness campaign.
NASHVILLE Mayor KARL DEAN addressed the crowd immediately following. "Music is our identity in NASHVILLE," explained DEAN. "It's the basis of much of our success. The people in this room are important to me, as Mayor, because in one way or another, you are all ambassadors for our city, broadcasting our music coast to coast."
CRS Pres. CHARLIE MORGAN unveiled the date and location of CRS 2016, stating, "We're moving! And we thought that since the Mayor is here, and really where we are moving is -- I think -- one of the gems of the downtown development of NASHVILLE, it would be appropriate to give you a sneak peek. We are excited about the fact that we are going to move the entire event to the OMNI HOTEL next year."
MORGAN advised that CRS 2016 would be at an earlier date, kicking off on SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7th, 2016 and running through WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10th, 2016. The opening night of CRS 2016 will coincide with SUPER BOWL SUNDAY, and thusly the event will kick off with a SUPER BOWL party and live half-time show.
The ceremony continued with the acknowledgement of the three RUSTY WALKER SCHOLARSHIP winners for 2015 (NET NEWS 12/8/14). Named for the late RUSTY WALKER, the scholarships are designed to develop opportunities for young radio talent to attend CRS free of charge. This year's winners include WFMB/SPRINGFIELD, IL morning show co-host/promotions director/social media producer/designer ANDREA BODONAS, WKSJ/MOBILE, AL night host/morning stunt guy COLTON BRADFORD, and KWJJ/PORTLAND, OR marketing and promotions director ANNIE BROOKS, who are each attending CRS for the first time and will receive mentoring during CRS 2015 (THE 'VILLE 1/30).
Those weren’t the only scholarships of the afternoon. COUNTRY RADIO BROADCASTERS (CRB) Scholarship Chairman JOHN SHOMBY presented the UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS with a $25,000 check to fund scholarships for full-time undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a degree in radio broadcasting. SHOMBY noted this year's gift is a significant one, as it is the first time in CRB history that the endowment has been awarded in two consecutive years.
CRS Exec. Dir. BILL MAYNE honored JEFF SMULYAN with the 2015 TOM RIVERS HUMANITARIAN AWARD (NET NEWS 11/13/14). Given in recognition of an individual in the Country radio industry who has displayed a magnanimous spirit of caring and generosity in service to their community, the award is given at the discretion of the CRB Board of Directors and is named in honor of the late TOM RIVERS, a CRB Board member who passed away in 2004 at the age of 38 due to bronchial asthma. In receiving the honor, SMULYAN said, "Thank you to CRS for all that you do for the radio industry and Country music. It's been a wonderful journey."
Hall Of Fame 2015 Class Honored
RCA NASHVILLE recording artists and husband/wife touring team GARTH BROOKS and TRISHA YEARWOOD were on hand to unveil the COUNTRY RADIO HALL OF FAME Class of 2015. This year's honorees include former WUSY/CHATTANOOGA GM SAMMY GEORGE, longtime programmer and consultant JOEL RAAB, and current KBEQ/KANSAS CITY PD/morning personality MIKE KENNEDY in the Radio category as well as KAJA/SAN ANTONIO morning man RANDY CARROLL and WMIL/MILWAUKEE on-air personality KAREN DALESSANDRO in the On-Air category (NET NEWS 2/25).
ARISTA NASHVILLE recording artist CARRIE UNDERWOOD, who was last year's recipient of the ARTIST HUMANITARIAN AWARD made a presentation and introduction via pre-recorded video to honor CAPITOL NASHVILLE trio LADY ANTEBELLUM with the CRS 2015 ARTIST HUMANITARIAN AWARD in recognition of their continued philanthropic efforts. CHARLES KELLEY, DAVE HAYWOOD, and HILLARY SCOTT have utilized their influence and assets since the beginning of their career to make a difference across the country via various charitable organizations, most notably their own LADYAID, which works to fund various children's need organizations (NET NEWS 11/17/14).
"We are just so humbled to be here, and appreciate this so much," said SCOTT. "When we started as a band, I remember over the years having conversations about when we can get to a point as artists to use this platform for something good. And I know, for children, that's something that has affected all of us individually in really deep ways, and we're passionate about it. We don't take it lightly, and we are so grateful to the CRB for your support, for your love, and allowing us to talk about what we're passionate about."
LADY ANTEBELLUM can be seen later in the WEEK for the CRS 2015 panel "How 3 Become 1: LADY ANTEBELLUM," which is slated for THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26th at 10a (CT).
FISHER HOUSE Pres. DAVE COKER echoed sentiments of humanitarian causes in the Country music industry during a stirring video about FISHER HOUSE and their continuing partnership with Country radio. Country artist CRAIG MORGAN made a cameo in the video and paid tribute to wounded warriors and the work of FISHER HOUSE.
This year's keynote address featured entrepreneur TODD WAGNER, famed business partner of MARK CUBAN and owner of over a half-dozen businesses. In a conversational setting, WAGNER discussed his successes and strategies with MORGAN as he outlined the future of technology and the direction of multi-media platforms. WAGNER presented ideas for success in the workplace, tips on sharing thoughts and ideas in a creative and welcoming environment, and fostering employee relationships with superiors.
He focused on the entrepreneurial spirit and how radio can harness the creativity of its employees and the basis of its brand to further their footprint in the digital space. WAGNER concluded with questions from the audience and by addressing his hope that radio can continue to flourish in the digital age by keeping an open mind, building on creativity, and working hard to build its brand.
CRS events continue TOMORROW (2/26) at the NASHVILLE CONVENTION CENTER.