Country Radio Hall Of Fame Class Of 2016 Announced
January 5, 2016 at 8:02 AM (PT)
As first reported via ALL ACCESS Special Bulletin earlier TODAY (1/5), COUNTRY RADIO SEMINAR (CRS) revealed the COUNTRY RADIO HALL OF FAME (CRHoF) Class of 2016 TODAY (1/5), with eight new inductees set to join the HALL. "AMERICA'S MORNING SHOW" host BLAIR GARNER; former KHKX/MIDLAND, TX team MIKE & DANA SCHUFF; and WUSN/CHICAGO morning show co-host LISA DENT comprise the On-Air category. Recently retired CBS RADIO/MINNEAPOLIS VP/Market Manager MICK ANSELMO; multi-station owner KERBY CONFER; late air personality and station GM JACK RENO; CBS RADIO/DETROIT OM TIM ROBERTS; and retired station owner JIM SLONE will be inducted in the Radio category.
Reigning ACM and CMA Entertainer Of The Year, LUKE BRYAN, will be on-hand to personally introduce the inductees live during CRS 2016 opening ceremonies on MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8th at 3p (CT), providing an opportunity for the Class of 2016 to be acknowledged during Country radio’s biggest week.
"Once again, the COUNTRY RADIO HALL OF FAME selection committee has done a thorough job of recognizing amazing and deserving honorees," said CRHoF Chairman RJ CURTIS. "The combined contributions of the 2016 Class could essentially serve as a textbook for how radio -- and Country radio specifically -- should be executed, with every inductee truly living up to the criteria of having made 'a significant contribution' to the Country music industry. On behalf of our committee, I am proud to congratulate the Class of 2016."
The annual COUNTRY RADIO HALL OF FAME & DINNER celebration date will be set and announced in coming months. Below is a more detailed biography for each inductee, outlining his or her unique contributions to our Country music industry.
BLAIR GARNER: Currently the host of NASHVILLE-based nationally syndicated "AMERICA'S MORNING SHOW" from CUMULUS MEDIA NETWORKS, GARNER is a three-time National Radio Personality of the Year honoree from the ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC. His first radio break came in CANYON, TEXAS, a small town south of AMARILLO, at the age of 17. Major Market opportunities soon followed in cities including DALLAS, WASHINGTON, DC, and NEW YORK. Following a stint at Top 40 giant KIIS/LOS ANGELES, GARNER created -- and for 20 years, hosted -- the nationally syndicated "AFTER MIDNITE." GARNER was a 2013 inductee into the NATIONAL RADIO HALL OF FAME.
MIKE & DANA SCHUFF: First teamed at KNFM/ODESSA, TX in 1989, MIKE LAWRENCE and DANA CAROLE were already seasoned radio vets, having entered the business in 1973 and 1980, respectively. After a successful run at KNFM, with MIKE handling PD responsibilities, the pair headed to crosstown KGEE in 1990, helping that station win the CMA Station Of The Year award in both 1993 and 1995, and in 1996 the pair was honored as CMA Small Market Personality Of The Year winners. In 2001, MIKE & DANA left KGEE to launch KHKX/MIDLAND, TX, where they garnered CMA Station Of The Year nominations and won ACM Small Market Personality Of The Year in 2007. MIKE & DANA retired in 2014, ending a 25-year on-air partnership, but continuing their 23-year marriage.
LISA DENT: As co-host of the morning show at WUSN/CHICAGO since 2002, DENT continues the career path she began to forge at WFAW/FORT ATKINSON, WI in 1981. She gained quick traction, landing Major Market gigs that included a stop at KSON/SAN DIEGO in 1987 before heading to WBOB/MINNEAPOLIS, KYCW/SEATTLE, and KIKK/HOUSTON before finding her current home in CHICAGO. DENT has also hosted nationally syndicated shows "COUNTRY GIANTS" for UNITED STATIONS and "CMT INSIDER." As half of the "LISA DENT AND RAMBLIN' RAY (STEVENS)" morning show on WUSN, she has been honored with the CMA Personality Of The Year award in 2005 and 2010. The show was also the 2015 ACM Personality Of The Year honoree.
MICK ANSELMO: Most recently CBS RADIO/MINNEAPOLIS VP/Market Manager, ANSELMO retired in DECEMBER 2015, completing a career that included the launch of both Country radio powerhouses in MINNEAPOLIS: KMNB in 2011 and KEEY in 1982. Before joining CBS RADIO in 2008, ANSELMO spent more than two decades at CLEAR CHANNEL's (now iHEARTMEDIA) crosstown cluster, home to KEEY. During his time there, KEEY was honored with a CMA Station Of The Year award and was a consistent market leader, which it remains today. ANSELMO is a 2013 inductee in the MINNESOTA BROADCASTING HALL OF FAME.
KERBY CONFER: CONFER spent 58 years in the radio business, beginning as an on-air personality at the age of 16. He became a station owner in 1975, eventually growing his portfolio to 250 stations; today, he remains a partner in 70 stations. A 2003 inductee to the PENNSYLVANIA RADIO BROADCASTERS HALL OF FAME, CONFER was a pioneer in branding radio stations with monikers such as "KISSN'" (KSSN/LITTLE ROCK) and "THE BEAVER" (WBVR/BOWLING GREEN). The concept grew, with his first FROG-branded station, WFRG/UTICA, NY, an idea which spread to KFRG/SAN BERNARDINO, CA and WFGY/ALTOONA, PA. Eventually, numerous FROGGY stations spawned, along with BEARS, BULLS, and others.
JACK RENO: RENO began his 37-year radio career in the 1950s as an on-air personality at KCOG/CENTERVILLE, IA, eventually becoming involved in music, programming, and ultimately landing in the GM chair. RENO was awarded the CMA Personality Of The Year trophy in 1978. Radio stops through the years included KCKN/KANSAS CITY; KLLL/LUBBOCK, TX WXCL/PEORIA, IL; WUBE/CINCINNATI; and WSAI/CINCINNATI. He was also a noted songwriter, whose music was recorded by EDDIE ARNOLD and LEE ROY VAN DYKE. RENO retired from radio in 1990 and passed away from cancer in 2008.
TIM ROBERTS: ROBERTS has served as CBS RADIO/DETROIT OM since 2005, leading WYCD to Station Of The Year honors from the ACM, CMA, and MARCONI AWARDS. His career was launched in 1979 and has taken him to cities across the US, including CEDAR RAPIDS, TEXAS, WISCONSIN, NORTH CAROLINA, SPOKANE, and SAN FRANCISCO. Prior to joining WCYD, ROBERTS served as CUMULUS MEDIA MIDWEST Regional OM and lead WQKX/YOUNGSTOWN, OH to CMA Station Of The Year honors, as well. ROBERTS has the distinction of having lead two legendary Country brands in DETROIT, as his resume includes WWWW in the MOTOR CITY from 1995-1998.
JIM SLONE: SLONE's career began at KRZE/FARMINGTON, NM in 1960, but by 1963, he was in TUCSON, AZ where he would remain for the duration of his career. He purchased KCUB-AM there in 1972, then KIIM in 1983, launching it Country immediately. KIIM soon became the market leader both in ratings and billing, while garnering national recognition as well. SLONE grew his station portfolio to EL PASO and LUBBOCK and owned nine stations at one time. He was inducted to the ARIZONA BROADCASTING HALL OF FAME in 2001 and sold SLONE BROADCASTING the same year. He briefly returned to ownership in 2006 before retiring in 2009.