Veteran broadcaster and television pioneer Irving Cambridge Waugh, Jr., died April 27 following an extended illness. He was 94.

Long associated with WSM radio in Nashville, Waugh joined the staff as a newsman and announcer in the 1940s, later joined the sales staff and eventually ran both the radio division and WSM-TV. He retired from the company in 1977.

Waugh is credited with starting the Grand Ole Opry Birthday Celebration, which later spawned the annual Disc Jockey Convention, Country Music Month and the Country Music Association. In 1955, Waugh sold the Ralston-Purina Company a series of one-hour Grand Ole Opry specials, telecast on ABC-TV, which first brought the Opry to national television audiences.

After recruiting Kraft Foods as a sponsor, Waugh helped the Country Music Association Awards show became the first music awards of any kind to be nationally televised. He served as executive producer of the CMA Awards show until 1993.

Waugh was a long-time board member of both the Country Music Association and the Country Music Foundation and was a member of the International Radio and Television Executive Society, the Hollywood Radio and Television Executive Society.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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