CMA and Country artist Kelsea Ballerini joined forces with ABC Radio to announce the 2015 CMA Broadcast Awards finalists for Radio Personality and Station of the Year Wednesday during a media tour in New York City.
The finalists were surprised by the two-time CMA Awards finalist when she called under the pretense of talking about the nominations and then turned the tables.
"Radio has played such an important part in this amazing year that I jumped at the opportunity to call the stations to tell them they were nominated for a CMA Broadcast Award," said Ballerini. "It has been an amazing day and I was really happy to share it with people who have contributed so much to my career."
The CMA Broadcast Award winners will be notified in mid-October and will be acknowledged at "The 49th Annual CMA Awards," to be held Wednesday, Nov. 4 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) and broadcast live by the ABC Television Network from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood return to host Country Music's Biggest Night™ for the eighth time.
"Country radio stations and personalities reinforce what makes our format so powerful," said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. "They play a crucial part in establishing those common bonds between Country artists and listeners. We are thrilled to recognize these individuals who are exemplary advocates of our format."
"ABC Radio is proud to be associated with the CMA Awards and excited to offer a special two-hour CMA preview hosted by Good Morning America's Robin Roberts as part of six-weeks of CMA Awards preview radio programming starting September 28," said Steve Jones, ABC Radio Vice President & General Manager.
Five finalists are selected for CMA Broadcast Personality and CMA Radio Station of the Year in four categories: Small, Medium, Large, and Major Market. This year, however, there was a tie in the Medium Market Radio Station of the Year category, resulting in six nominees.
The categories are established by market size based on population as ranked by Arbitron. Entries for Broadcast Personality of the Year are judged on aircheck, ratings, community involvement, and biographical information. Candidates for Station of the Year are judged on aircheck, ratings history, community involvement, and format leadership.
Three finalists are selected for National Broadcast Personality of the Year. To be eligible, candidates must be syndicated, short-form, hub voice-tracking, and satellite personalities heard in at least three markets with a minimum of 40 shows per year.
CMA members who are full-time, on-air personalities and CMA member radio stations in the United States and Canada were eligible to enter. The entries are judged by a panel of distinguished broadcast professionals, representing all market sizes and regions.
An aggregate score of the first round of judging and the second round, which is done by a different panel of judges, determines the winners. The international accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche LLP tabulates scoring by the judges. CMA Broadcast Award winners are not eligible to enter in consecutive years; therefore, those who received trophies in 2014 were not eligible in 2015.
CMA BROADCAST PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR:
"The Big D and Bubba Show" (Derek Haskins, Sean Powell, and Patrick Thomas) – Compass Media Networks
"The Crook and Chase Countdown" (Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase) – iHeartMedia
"The Lia Show" (Lia Knight) – Westwood One
"Barrel Boy @ Night" (Eric Gruneisen) – KNIX, Phoenix, Ariz.
"Ben and Matt in the Morning" (Ben Campbell and Matt McAllister) – KNIX, Phoenix, Ariz.
"The Michael J Show" (Michael J. Stuehler) – WPOC, Baltimore, Md.
"Paul Schadt and Meg in the Morning Show" (Paul Schadt, Meg Butterly, and Geof Knight) – WKKT, Charlotte-Gastonia, N.C./Rock Hill, S.C.
"The Q Morning Zoo" (Tim Tuttle, Kevin Kline, and Erica Rico) – KKBQ, Houston-Galveston, Texas
"The Big Dave Show" (David Chandler, Chelsie Shinkle, and Jason Statt) – WUBE, Cincinnati, Ohio
"Karen, Scott & Radar" (Karen Dalessandro, Scott Dolphin, and Tony "Radar" Hess) – WMIL, Milwaukee-Racine, Wis.
"Mornings with Dave O'Brien" (Dave O'Brien) – WLHK, Indianapolis, Ind.
"Q Morning Crew" (Mike Wheless, Marty Young, and Janie Carothers) – WQDR, Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
"Randy and Jamie" (Randy Carroll and Jamie Martin) – KAJA, San Antonio, Texas
"The 97 Country Breakfast Club" (Roger Todd, Melissa Moran and Dale Sellers) – WPCV, Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.
"Andy & Allison and The Morning Crew" (Andy Ritchie, Alison Mencer, and Jimmy Holt) – WIVK, Knoxville, Tenn.
"DJ Walker In The Morning" (Dennis Walker and Jim Wells) – KATM, Stockton, Calif.
"Maverick & Lulu" (Maverick Johnson and Luanne Kyrsz) – WCTQ, Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.
"Tom and Becky" (Tom Owens and Becky Palmer) – WBBS, Syracuse, N.Y.
"Barrett, Fox & Berry" (Bill Barrett, Tim Fox, and Tracy Berry) – KKNU, Eugene-Springfield, Ore.
"Bobby and Steve Show" (Bobby Cook and Steve Schwetman) – WKYQ, Paducah, Ky.
"The Dex & Mo Show" (Bill "Dex" Poindexter and Melissa "Mo" Turner) – WUSY, Chattanooga, Tenn.
"Ken and Daniel" (Ken Hicks and Daniel Wyatt) – WUSY, Chattanooga, Tenn.
"Scotty & Cara in the Morning" (Scotty Cox and Cara Denis) – KCLR, Columbia, Mo.
CMA RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR
KNIX – Phoenix, Ariz.
WKKT – Charlotte-Gastonia, N.C./Rock Hill, S.C.
WKLB – Boston, Mass.
WPOC – Baltimore, Md.
WSOC – Charlotte-Gastonia, N.C./Rock Hill, S.C.
WCOL – Columbus, Ohio
WLHK – Indianapolis, Ind.
WMIL – Milwaukee-Racine, Wis.
WQIK – Jacksonville, Fla.
WUBE – Cincinnati, Ohio
CKRY – Calgary, Alta.
KUZZ – Bakersfield, Calif.
WBBS – Syracuse, N.Y.
WCTQ – Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.
WHKO – Dayton, OH
WIVK – Knoxville, Tenn.
KCLR – Columbia, Mo.
KFDI – Wichita, Kan.
KTTS – Springfield, Mo.
WGSQ – Cookeville, Tenn.
WHWY – Ft. Walton Beach/Destin, Fla.
Ballerini recorded personal messages for those radio stations and nominated personalities who weren't able to participate in the calls. ABC Radio is making that audio in addition to audio from "The 49th Annual CMA Awards" nominee announcements on ABCnews.com available via FTP.