As host of HLN’s “Morning Express,” Robin Meade reigns as one of cable TV’s most popular personalities. But she’s also growing into a multimedia celebrity — sophomore album “Count on Me” debuted at No. 58 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and No. 29 on Heatseekers Albums, selling 1,000 copies in its first week with a Target exclusive for physical copies and digital availability on iTunes.
From her offices at HLN in Atlanta, Meade says the alliance with Target began with her 2011 debut, “Brand New Day.” “People know me visually from my time on the tube,” she says. “So licensing my masters to a distributor that has the end-aisle display in Target is a huge plus for me. It allows the consumer to go, “Oh, wait, I know that gal from the news. She has an album? Let me see what this is about.'”
Meade is well aware that she has some promotional avenues available to her that other artists might not have. She’s grateful for those, saying, “I am so fortunate to work for bosses in the CNN family who are supportive of this other side of me. They have fashioned avenues that allow me to mention my music on the air, in a way that isn’t shoving the product down the viewers’ throats.” Meade has recently performed the national anthem at a couple of NASCAR races this year, and also hosted and performed on the Daytime Emmy Awards, telecast on HLN.
Meade is also taking on a new gig. She has signed up to deliver news updates for the new Blair Garner morning radio show, broadcast from Nashville and aired on WNSH (Nash FM) New York.
“It’s exciting to be a part of this new type of show where people in the biggest market in the country are getting to listen to a radio format that serves up the country lifestyle,” she says. “I’m happy to be a part, providing news straight from the set of HLN — during a few of my own commercial breaks.”
Dennis Garces, VP of product development for Somerset Group, Meade’s distributor, feels both the approach and the product are winners. “She’s produced by [singer/songwriter] Victoria Shaw. It’s a real testament to have someone like Victoria take her under her wing and work with her,” Garces says.
Garces is also focused on the parallels between Meade’s base and the Target shopper. “One of the things about doing an exclusive with Target is a statement of the faith that we have in Robin’s connection with her audience and the Target consumer,” he says, “and how they fit together.”