Opening ceremonies were held yesterday in Nashville for the 2013 Country Radio Seminar, which helps to promote the relationship between artists and programmers – in addition to three days worth of panels designed to help programmers maximize their earning potential and better themselves from a career standpoint.
CRB President Mike Culotta emceed the morning festivities, which started with a powerful version of the National Anthem courtesy of reigning CMA vocal group of the year Little Big Town.
The next order of business was to recognize the inaugural winners of the Rusty Walker Scholarship. They were Jeff Harju from WHKB/Houghton, MI, Cynthia Hayward of KMOK in Lewiston, ID, and WOLF/Syracuse’s Courtney Smith. The scholarship program is in honor of Walker, one of country’s top programmers and consultants – who died in May 2012.
Radio Ink sponsored the CRB Radio and CRS Artist Humanitarian Awards, which were presented next. In the small market category, the award went to KMOK in Lewiston, ID. The station took part in many different local humanitarian efforts in 2012, including National Night Out Against Crime, Pet of the Week, Community Spirit Fireworks, Walk For MS Relief, Idaho Community Action Food Bank, Lewiston Round-Up, United Way Day of Caring, Relay for Life, Earth Day and numerous others.
Rising Knoxville station WCYQ walked away with the Medium Market trophy. Their contributions to the East Tennessee market in the past year included helping to aid fundraising campaigns on behalf of the Helen Ross McNabb Foundation, Bethany of Knoxville, Children’s Miracle Network, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Horse Haven of Tennessee, Kay Yow Cancer Foundation, Habitat For Humanity and more.
In the Large market category, the honor went to Indianapolis’s WLHR. In 2012, the station (also known as “HANK-FM”) showed their support for Habitat For Humanity in 2012, building a three bedroom house at the Indiana State Fair in just 15 days. The station also hosted their annual Feed ‘em For Freedom for National Guardsmen and Guardswomen, which received national media attention for Cheri’s Chores, and partnered with the Salvation Army to host a donation drive for tornado victim’s relief among other charitable efforts.
Big Machine recording artists Rascal Flatts were next, as the 2012 Artist Humanitarian Award winner presented the 2013 trophy to Big & Rich. The Warner Brothers duo were celebrated by the CRB for a long list of charitable endeavors that stretch back for more than a decade. Their humanitarian efforts have ranged from visiting individual patients in hospitals, to staging benefit concerts for the Country Music Hall of Fame and the 173rd Airborne Memorial, to their well-documented U.S. and international outreach. The duo has made a point throughout their career to help underprivileged children and families in struggling countries like Uganda, Sudan, Haiti and Kenya, among others.
Previous winners of the Artist Humanitarian Award include Randy Owen, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire and Garth Brooks.