Hurricane Sandy Makes Its Mark on CMA Week
Hurricane Sandy Makes Its Mark on CMA Week

Hurricane Sandy left its mark on Nashville during a week filled with awards dinners and the annual CMA Awards.

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People from across the music industry, from BMG Rights Management to City National Bank and Spotify, were unable to make their flights to attend the CMA Awards on Thursday. The BMI Country Awards were held Oct. 30. People who had plans to fly out earlier for the 2012 SESAC Nashville Music Awards on Oct. 28 or the ASCAP Country Awards on Oct. 29 could have beaten the storm.

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Several executives from BMI were unable to fly from New York to attend the BMI Country Awards on Tuesday and attend the CMA Awards, although BMI CEO Del Bryant and some other executives left before the storm, according to BMI head of communications Silvia Davi.

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Some New York-based staffers from People Country -- including editor Cindy Sanz -- were unable to get to Nashville for the event. Republic Records president/CEO Monte Lipman did not go to Nashville and gave up his plane seat to Island Def Jam Music Group and Republic Records chairman/CEO Barry Weiss.

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The power outages and public transportation problems in and around New York made for difficulties producing some of the coverage. CMT did not lose power but many people worked from home after the storm and the company was not sure it would be able to stream the pre-CMA red carpet event until Tuesday, CMT director of corporate communications Amanda Murphy says. "A lot of plans were up in the air until the last minute," she says.

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There were signs of Hurricane Sandy at the awards show, too. Brad Paisley added a few lines about New York and New Jersey at the beginning of his performance of "Southern Comfort Zone." ABC displayed the web address for the Red Cross at the beginning of the song so people could donate to people affected by the storm. There was also a callout in the opening monologue with Paisley and Carrie Underwood with a screen graphic for the Red Cross.

ABC's broadcast of "The 46th Annual CMA Awards" won the Thursday night ratings and helped ABC rank first in five out of six half-hours of the night in both total viewers and adults 18 to 49. The broadcast gave ABC its most-watched non-sports Thursday since September 2009 and its top non-sports Thursday for the 18 to 49 demo since May 2010.

However, as Broadcasting & Cable points out, the broadcast's 3.8 rating in the adult 18-to-49 demo was the show's lowest rating ever for that age group. There may have been some mitigating factors involved in the lower ratings, however. Power outages affected some households in the New York and New Jersey markets, and the "CMA Awards" was broadcast on Thursday evening for the first time.

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