Country Radio Hall Of Fame Inducts Class Of 2016
June 23, 2016 at 1:13 PM (PT)
CRB President Charlie Morgan, Kerby Confer, Bev Reno (accepting on behalf of her late husband, Jack Reno), Mick Anselmo, Lisa De
The COUNTRY RADIO HALL OF FAME (CRHoF) held its induction ceremony last NIGHT (6/22) at the OMNI HOTEL in NASHVILLE where "AMERICA'S MORNING SHOW" host BLAIR GARNER; former KHKX/MIDLAND, TX team MIKE & DANA SCHUFF; and WUSN/CHICAGO morning show co-host LISA DENT were inducted in the On-Air category and 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 were inducted in the Radio category (NET NEWS 1/5). Additionally, COUNTRY RADIO SEMINAR (CRS) presented RANDY TRAVIS with its 2016 Artist Career Achievement Award and CAROLE BOWEN with the President's Award (NET NEWS 5/31).
CRB President CHARLIE MORGAN shared sentiments regarding his time working on the CRB Board with President's Award recipient CAROLE BOWEN before bringing BOWEN to the stage for remarks. BOWEN shared highlights of her journey from a career in accounting to a long-tenured career in radio and touched upon her love for the COUNTRY RADIO SEMINAR and her time as Secretary of the CRB Board. Next, MCA NASHVILLE artist JOSH TURNER honored Artist Career Achievement Award winner RANDY TRAVIS with a medley of some of TRAVIS' most popular hits, followed by a video montage of TRAVIS' many career accomplishments. TRAVIS and his wife, MARY, took the stage as the entire crowd rose to their feet to cheer on TRAVIS. As he continues to recover from a stroke and makes strides in his rehabilitation, TRAVIS is now walking both on his own and with assistance. MARY shared the couple's gratitude for the Award and the deep love and appreciation RANDY still holds for his friends at Country radio. The crowd remained on their feet during the entire speech, filled with love and pride for TRAVIS, his career accomplishments, and the miracle of his continued recovery.
The night's first inductee, BLAIR GARNER, took the podium to share what Country radio has meant to him. He shared his deep appreciation for those who have mentored him along the way, including his presenter BOB KINGSLEY, and reminded everyone that Country radio is a family -- no matter the station, cluster, market, or parent company affiliation -- and implored everyone to vote for his mentor, KINGSLEY, for the NATIONAL RADIO HALL OF FAME. GARNER also shared touching stories about radio's ability to connect with listeners in a way no other medium can. He closed by thanking his family, most of which was seated with him for the special event. Next, BEVERLY RENO and her three children, who shared words about the late JACK RENO and his time in radio. Mrs. RENO discussed her husband's career and accomplishments, sharing details of how they met while she was serving as an ARMY nurse and JACK was working on the military radio station. She told of JACK's passion for the medium and his love of the connection to his listeners.
TIM ROBERTS then detailed his journey in radio, reminding everyone of his diverse background before heading to his current home in DETROIT, with which he is now so synonymous. ROBERTS pointed out the successes he has had along the way, including time spent working side-by-side with his wife, LORI, and also thanked his CBS RADIO family for their support along the way. Next, JIM SLONE came to the podium giving a memorable speech detailing each of the years he spent in radio and his rise to ownership. SLONE became emotional thanking his family for their support and sharing stories of times spent together in radio, and he also made sure to thank the late BUCK OWENS for not purchasing an FM station he was interested in acquiring many years back, opening the door for SLONE to instead take ownership of the signal.
KERBY CONFER relived his childhood fascination with radio in a town where television wasn't prevalent and told of his first foray into station ownership. He described the path to the branding of his stations and the creation of FOREVER MEDIA, and he told of the many ways the FROGGY and BEAVER monikers, among others, have helped his stations stand out and succeed. CONFER also shared quick stories of some of the employees who have touched his life and with whom he stayed in contact, leading those employees to great successes in other areas of life, including a former intern who went on to write "Hairspray," and a former salesperson who is now better known as TAYLOR SWIFT's father. In one of the more emotional tributes of the evening, DANA SCHUFF came to the stage to share what her and her recently deceased husband MIKE's partnership both in front of and behind the microphone had meant. She told of the way they not only married each other, but also married the market. DANA explained the connection she and MIKE formed with their listeners, and she told of the joy that being morning co-hosts had brought the two of them as they worked together to build a successful show while raising a family. DANA relayed the range of emotions being felt by her and the family being inducted so recently after MIKE's passing and the excitement MIKE felt when he was notified of the induction honor just months before his sudden death.
MICK ANSELMO took time to thank each of the employees who had ventured to the event to see him inducted and made note of the CBS RADIO executives with whom he had worked over the years. He shared some lighthearted anecdotes about his time in radio, as well. The evening concluded LISA DENT, who shared what her radio career thus far has meant to her, highlighting her involvement with multiple community service organizations. DENT also gave thanks for the many people who have helped her along the way in her career in radio and noted the honor she felt at becoming only the sixth woman inducted in to the CRHoF.