Dan Rogers Promoted to Head the Grand Ole Opry: Exclusive

Chris Hollo for the Grand Ole Opry
Dan Rogers

Opry Entertainment Group is promoting Dan Rogers to the newly created position of vp/executive producer of the Grand Ole Opry. 

Rogers’ promotion comes as Sally Williams, general manager, Grand Ole Opry/senior vp, programming and artist relations, Opry Entertainment, exits Aug. 9 to join Live Nation as president of Nashville music and business strategy. 

Affectionately known in the Nashville community as “Opry Dan,” Rogers began working at the famed institution as an intern in 1999 and has worked in various roles including marketing, communications, artist relations and production.

“The Opry is my home,” Rogers tells Billboard, “so I want to take care of the Opry just as I would take care of my own home. Home is the place you want to make sure that everybody under that roof is taken care of and feels special. And it’s a place you want them to come back to as well.”

Rogers’ previous title was director of communications and show producer. In his new post, he will continue his responsibilities for communications and overall show production and will expand his involvement in talent relations and logistics for the Opry’s more than 200 annual performances.

“He breathes and sleeps the Opry and there’s no better person to be in that role,” Opry Entertainment president Scott Bailey says of Rogers. “Any guy who can start out as an intern and elevate to arguably one of the most important positions in the company for one of the most important assets in country music, that’s the guy you want to bet on.”

Bailey says Opry members had been “tipped” that Rogers would be playing a larger role and feedback was enthusiastic. “They think it’s great! I wouldn’t say ‘a sigh of relief,’ but it was more of a ‘the trains will be running and running on time,’” he says. 

Rogers is already focused on the Opry’s centennial in 2025. “I’ve seen the Opry from the side of a marketer who is hoping to drive ticket sales, but is also thinking about how we drive value to the artists that play the show,” he says. “With this 100-year mark are all the opportunities before us to continue reaching out to new artists to play the stage and to find new ways for people around the world to listen to the Opry.”

In addition to promoting Rogers, Opry Entertainment is looking for someone to fill the other half of Williams’ role: senior vp, programming and artist relations for Opry Entertainment.

“We’re going to lean into somebody who not only has strong artist relations, but also is -- not that Sally wasn’t thinking this way -- really putting a focus on the strategic side of where we take the Opry,” says Bailey.  “One of the things that is important to us is making sure the Opry is top of mind and being exposed to as many consumers and fans as possible. We also want to make sure we strengthen our relationship as it relates to the labels and the management teams.”

In April, Opryland Entertainment announced a joint venture with Gray Television to launch a linear television and digital subscription video on demand service. The new hire will be involved in the venture, which Bailey describes as “a TV network as well as an over the top subscription video on demand service not unlike Netflix for country music fans.”

Besides Rogers, the Opry’s current team includes Barbara Schaetz, vp business operations, Grand Ole Opry House; Gina Keltner, director of talent and logistics; and Jordan Pettit, director of artist relations and programming strategy.


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