Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Country Radio Seminar 2017 - Nashville Feb 22-24, 2017

(Nashville, Tenn. – Feb. 27, 2017) 

Country radio’s biggest event of the year, Country Radio Seminar (CRS) kicked off Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 in downtown Nashville, Tenn.

The three-day agenda was packed full of entertainment, networking, and educational opportunities, and included panels, mentoring events, instructive discussions, and exciting performances from the most talked about emerging acts of today to country music’s biggest superstars. Some of the seminar’s most anticipated events returned, and included Grand Ole Opry at CRS, Bob Kingsley’s Acoustic Alley (Image) , Team UMG at The Ryman, Big Machine Label Group’s luncheon show, and the New Faces of Country Music Show and Dinner.

Country Radio Seminar Executive Director, Bill Mayne (Image) commented, “We are so excited and ready for Wednesday’s kickoff to CRS 2017! Over the course of the three-days, our attendees will see and hear more actionable content than ever before! 


One of the best parts of CRS is ALWAYS the engagement and the networking with old friends and new, and I know many are looking forward to seeing so many of their friends.” Mayne also adds, “I urge everyone to take advantage of the CRS 2017 Hearing Test—it’s free and could change your life!”

CRS WEDNESDAY, Feb 22, 2017

Prior to the seminar’s kick-off, registrants had the opportunity to tour the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum from 9:00 a.m.-3 p.m. 

This year, Country Radio Seminar kicked off its annual three-day convention by throwing the seminar’s first-ever commencement party, in collaboration with SunTrust Bank and Encore Technologies. Award-winning TV and radio personalities, Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase of Crook & Chase, will host the event that starts at 12:15 p.m. CT. Five artists are set to perform and are Caroline Jones, Macy Martin, Matt Gary, Jeremiah Richey, and Joe Denim.  The CRS 2017 Kickoff Party will conclude prior to the CRS 2017 Opening Ceremonies.
Lineup: 12:15-12:45 - Caroline Jones; 12:45-1:15 - Macy Martin; 1:15-1:45 - Matt Gary; 1:45-2:15 - Jeremiah Richey; 2:15-2:45 - Joe Denim & 3 PM - 3:30 PM

At 3 p.m. CT, one of Country Music’s favorite female vocalists, Trisha Yearwood, started CRS 2017’s Opening Ceremonies, sponsored by Sarah Cannon, by singing the national anthem. A Color Guard presentation from the United States Marine Corps and a welcome from Nashville Mayor, Megan Barry followed.

Shortly after, the Humanitarian awards were presented.  This year’s presentation recognized Zac Brown as the recipient of the CRS 2017 Artist Humanitarian Award and former Chairman and CEO of Greater Media, Peter Smyth, as the recipient of the CRS 2017 Tom Rivers Humanitarian Award.
CRS2017: Zac Brown Humanitarian Award-22Feb2017

From 4 – 5:00 p.m. CT, Olympic Gold Medalist, television broadcaster, best-selling author, humanitarian, cancer survivor, and eternal optimist, Scott Hamilton, appeared as the keynote speaker. CRS President, Charlie Morgan, led the conversation with Hamilton. At 5:30 p.m. CT, attendees gathered for the Opening Welcome Reception, sponsored by CMA and Live Nation
Pictured (L-R) Bill Mayne, CRB/CRS Executive Director; Scott Hamilton and Charlie Morgan, 
CRB/CRS President.
(Feb. 22, 2017 – Source: Rick Diamond/Getty Images North America)

Hamilton touched upon his 1984 Olympic Gold Medal performances in SARAJEVO; his best-selling books, "Landing It" and "The Great Eight;" the Scott Hamilton Cares Foundation, as well as other cancer research and education organizations; and much more. "When things could have gone left, they went right," said Hamilton, in reference to his professional skating career. "And there were a lot skaters that were doing things I couldn't dream of and had a hard time pulling it off in competition. I stayed in my lane. I did programs that I knew I could do under pressure, and I just found a way to string together a really good four years."

Immediately following was the “Grand Ole Opry at CRS” show, powered by Live Nation
The “Grand Ole Opry at CRS” Pictured L to R, 
Back Row: Zac Brown Band's Daniel de los Reyes, Clay Cook, and John Driskell Hopkins; Trace Adkins, and the Zac Brown Band's Jimmy De Martini, Zac Brown, and Matt Mangano; Middle Row: Chris Lane, Jamie Dailey of Dailey and Vincent, Coy Bowles of the Zac Brown Band, Chris Janson, Michael Ray; Front Row: Darrin Vincent of Dailey and Vincent, Carly Pearce, Crystal Gayle, Preston Brust of LOCASH, Cam, and Chris Lucas of LOCASH.

This year’s performers were: Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum, Trace Adkins, Crystal Gayle, LOCASH, Cam, Michael Ray, Chris Lane, Carly Pearce, and Dailey & Vincent.
Country Radio Hall Of Fame Class Of 2017 Announced At CRS
Six radio personalities and three off-air broadcasters will join the Country Radio Hall Of Fame (CRHOF) in 2017, as Capitol Nashville’s Lady Antebellum revealed this Year’s inductees during Wednesday’s (Feb 22) opening Ceremonies for Country Radio Seminar (CRS). 
Radio category: Tim Closson, Charlie Ochs, Mel Owens
On-Air category: Joe Wade Formicola, Linda Lee, Jim Mantel, Good Morning Guys – Kuad/Ft. Collins, Co: Brian Gary, Todd Harding, Susan Moore …See more  


CRS in Action: Edison Research Studies 'Country Radio Going Mobile'
Edison Research delivered its annual industry study to COUNTRY RADIO SEMINAR (CRS) attendees TODAY (2/23), with this year’s focus on the increasing mobile usage among Country listeners.

EDISON President LARRY ROSIN began with stats showing 81% of AMERICANS have a smart phone – with only 8% using it to listen to the radio. 

Tom Webster and Megan Lazovick then walked through findings that confirmed how connected people are to their device. For example, if you bring your smartphone to the bathroom, you’re like 78% of users, although if dropped in a Porta-Potty, only 41% of respondents say they’d retrieve it. The use of apps is widespread and growing right now, with Country listeners depending on them for almost everything, and using an average of seven types of apps every day. Leading the way for Country mobile users: Social media engagement at 86%, with Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat the top choices. As expected, FACEBOOK is the most-used app, with 80% of Country smartphone users on it daily.

CRS In Action: Garth Brooks 'Inside Studio G' (10 a.m.)
A remarkably candid, funny and at times teary Garth Brooks never sat down and paced the stage as he discussed his return to music, the challenges facing the music industry, his legacy and more in this morning's Q&A-style (2/23) "Inside Studio G" conducted by Pearl regional Glenn Noblit
"Concerts are like sex," Brooks quipped while discussing his one-city-at-a-time approach to touring. "Because the whole time you're working to get an invitation back!" Brooks reminded the audience that concerts are an ordeal for fans, citing the cost of tickets, dinner out, parking, babysitters, beers and t-shirts. "In Boston the parking was more than the price of the concert ticket," he noted, growing emotional. "It's a pain in the ass to go to these things. And yet they show up. And they show up in the back freakin' rows."
Garth Brooks speaks onstage during Inside Studio G at CRS 2017 - Day 2 
on February 23, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.
(Feb. 22, 2017 - Source: Rick Diamond/Getty Images North America)

Driving home his point, Brooks recalled seeing Queen, one of his first concerts, with a girlfriend. "We stood in our chairs on the 13th row and all I wanted was for Freddie Mercury to look at me for three seconds just so I could say, 'Thank you, man.' I just want to say 'thank you' back. Thank you for my life, thank you for my childrens' college. Thank you for the dream gig."
Brooks repeatedly thanked radio. "Everybody has their agenda and I get that," he said, referencing the commercial nature of the music business. "What I love about radio is that ... there's still that art side. Some of the best faces I remember seeing in the crowd were the radio people ... I think people are in radio because they just love music."
After discussing his partnership with Amazon, the future of radio as he saw it ("Radio is here forever," he asserted), Brooks was asked by an audience member where he finds the energy to play nine shows in a weekend. Smiling, he offered, "It's something music does, man ... if your job was eating ice cream for a living and your boss said, 'You're gonna have to pull a double shift today...' That's my life. I love it."

CRS In Action: Women Empowering Women (2:30 - 3:20) (Image)
Panelists: Beverlee Brannigan, Carol Hughes, Erica Farber, Linda Wei, Beth Curley, Brooke Williams
The panelists discussed how to approach someone who is a mentor figure; the moment they realized they needed to pay this forward; insight they have picked up about the industry from having a mentor; a time when there was a work, career, or personal crisis and this relationship became especially important; how to walk the fine line between mentor and kindred spirit; and having full trust and openness when it comes to mentee career-opportunities outside of the company.

Some pieces of advice the panelists imparted with the audience: if there is someone you are interested in developing a relationship with, do not be afraid to go right up to them and introduce yourself; be intentional about your relationship and always follow up; don’t limit yourself to one mentor and have connections both inside and outside of the company; be honest, open, and up front about an opportunity outside of the company – nobody likes surprises; as a mentor, put the other person’s success first; and as a mentee, find a mentor who can help support you reaching your goals

CRS2017: Billboard Montage 22-24,Feb2017

CRS In Action: CMA Breakout Session 'The Power Of The Country Music Consumer' (2:30 - 3:20)
The Country Music Association (CMA) hosted its first Breakout panel to detail the current Country music consumer. In "The Power Of The Country Music Consumer," the CMA gave an overview of the current format's consumers, including consumer characteristics and spending habits. With over 46 million Country listeners, the audience is wide and varied, but more connected than ever, with most listeners citing cell phone usage for music streaming, radio apps, and listening to owned music. These listeners are also connected digitally to the marketplace, as more and more AMERICANS shop online via AMAZON or store apps.
Connecting your listeners to your clients is becoming a multi-media task, and the integration of digital components, including your station website, social media, and in-app marketing, alongside strong radio campaigns, is the wave of the future.


CRS Panel Recap: Growing Talent (10AM - 10:50)
Panelists will describe largely untapped programs and partnerships for finding, recruiting, and retaining the next generation of talent, including on-air sales, promotions, digital, production, and records. Also, millenials will describe some of their successes and challenges entering and staying in radio.
The outlook is good for the next generation of radio, according to panelists at Friday's (Feb 24) Cultivating the Farm Team: Sources of New Talent. Dan Vallie talked about his program at the National Radio Talent Institute, which trains up-and-comers, including fellow panelist Liz Rozengard (CapCity). The 10-day crash course is taught by veterans and held in locations across the country. Rozengard landed a job when she met her boss through the program. She said, "If you’re passionate, it shows, and people want to help you."

Moderator Becky Brenner said it's important to share the rewards of the business with younger talent, instead of focusing on the challenges. Bryan Broadcasting's Ben Downs talked about the student-run station at Texas A&M. Students keep it on air 24-7, sell advertising, and host remotes and play-by-play sports. "I'm really fired up about the young talent," added iHeart's Tony Banks. "[After a slump], I think we've turned the corner."

CRS In Action: 'Dicing The Data To Predict The Hits' (10 AM - 10:50)
Panelists will show concrete examples of artists and records and the information platforms like Shazam, SiriusXM, and Spotify can provide to determine if these songs are making an impact.
Panelists: John Zarling - Sony, Jeff Green - Stone Door Media, Tim Richards

A survey of the MEDIABASE Country reporting panel PDs/MDs polling 38 different factors used when considering airplay showed artist reputation/stature, gut feeling, and playlist fit topping the list, according to Stone Door Media LAB’s Jeff Green. He led off and went on to share that streaming data from SPOTIFY, YOUTUBE, APPLE and PANDORA were at or near the bottom of the list.
Rather than a strong reliance on intangibles, GREEN suggested using five key data points:
Watching SHAZAM per-spin ratios early in a song’s life.
Using “Most-Added” as in indicator. 55% of most-added songs go on to reach #1, 82% reach top 15. Songs that are top-10 most added for five straight weeks are also proven hits.
Achieving MEDIABASE “Airborne” status. The average peak of such songs is #12.
Monitor big early sales-per-spin stats. 70% of songs with 12 or more sales per spin early on reached #12; the average peak was #6.
Watch PANDORA streaming data. Green says in most cases, Pandora leads Mediabase in predicting top 10 records.

Amazon's Ryan Redington Speaks At CRS 2017
Amazon Dir./Amazon Music Ryan Redington (Image) was Friday's (Feb 24) daily featured Speaker at CRS 2017. 

The eight-year company veteran recounted Amazon's history in the music space, explained the speech recognition technology behind the company's Echo and Alexa, and offered insight into Amazon's partnership with Garth Brooks
"There was one artist who had yet to move into the streaming space and he just happened to be the best-selling solo artist of all time," Redington said, noting Amazon wanted to capitalize on the growth of music streaming. "There's no better way than going out and doing a deal with Garth Brooks." The benefits seemed obvious in part because of Amazon's strength with country listeners. Users across all of Amazon's music platforms listen more to country than any other genre. Further, 16 of the top 50 most-listened-to songs on Amazon are country and 18 of the top 50 albums are country.

CRS In Action: Lace Up Your Boots & Get In The Trenches With Social Media Platforms 11 AM - 11:50
Facebook Head of Music Partnerships Malika Quemerais, Shareablee Head of Marketing & GM Gloria Stitt, and WHEELHOUSE RECORDS artist Granger Smith broke down social media at Friday's (Feb 24) “Lace Up Your Boots & Get In The Trenches With Social Media Platforms” panel at CRS 2017. Moderated by Albright & O’Malley & Brenner’s Becky Brenner, the panel covered various social media platforms and how both radio and artists can increase brand reach and listener (and fan) engagement.
Quemerais touched upon the benefits of using FACEBOOK LIVE, the FACEBOOK auto-play feature, and artists’ creating “thumb-stopping content.” “Fans are going to gravitate toward content that they find compelling, and chances are if you see the artist within the first three seconds, you’re going to want to see what happens and you’re going to want to keep watching,” said Quemerais. “Facebook Live is nice because you’ve a two-for-one; if you’ve got five minutes with an artist and you can get them to go live, then you know that that’s going to turn into a video after the fact. Now you’ve basically checked two boxes doing one thing.”

CRS In Action: Team UMG At The Ryman (11:30 AM - 1:50 PM)
Team UMG at the Ryman
This year’s performers were Lauren Alaina, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Easton Corbin, Billy Currington, Vince Gill, Sam Hunt, Kip Moore, Jon Pardi, Darius Rucker, Chris Stapleton, Josh Tuner, and Keith Urban.
Highlights of the event included Lauren Alaina’s performance of “Three,” Keith Urban’s performance of “Blue Ain’t Your Color” -- which included a jam session with Vince Gill and Chris Stapleton, and some amazing – seriously – jokes from the event’s host, UMG NASHVILLE SVP/Promotion Royce Risser.

“This event is consistently one of the best CRS has to offer,” said Forever Media Country WGTY/YORK, PA PD Scott Donato.”I love the fact that they continue to keep it simple and let the artists put their own stamp on each performance. There were so many incredible moments, including the amazing Keith Urban guitar-off at the end. But Lauren Alaina’s sweet words and jaw-dropping performance was the highlight for me.”

Alpha Media Country KUPL/PORTLAND MD Danny Dwyer said: “Vince Gill – how can you not love that voice and his talent?! The man has a way turning a birthday song [for his wife] into a GRAMMY award-winning song in itself.” He added, “Lauren Alaina stole our hearts with her song ‘Three.’ It’s been fun to watch her grow to the artist she is today, and that performance was magical and brought us to tears.”

CRS In Action: Toby Keith -- My Way (3 PM - 4 PM)
Moderated by All Access Nashville Editor RJ Curtis and Scripps/Wichita VP/Gm Beverlee Brannigan and highlighted Keith's career and his path to success playing by his own rules.
COUNTRY RADIO SEMINAR (CRS) 2017 concluded its slate of panels Fri afternoon (Feb 24) with an artist interview with Show Dog Nashville artist Toby Keith (Image).
Keith was open and candid during the conversation, sharing insights to both his career and personal life. Early in the discussion, Brannigan discussed Keith's most recent decision to do it his way, when he refused to back down from playing the Presidential Inauguration despite pushback from social media. "Every single time the WHITE HOUSE -- no matter who the President was -- called, I've always said yes and went." And when asked why he was recently quoted as saying he would not apologize for the performance, Toby shared, "In the end, it just makes you stronger. If you don't succumb to the pressure, it will make you stronger."
Having performed 240 shows over an 11-year period for the USO, Toby’s patriotism has never wavered.
“You have to know right from wrong, not right to left,” he said. He told of writing “Courtesy Of The Red White And Blue” on the back of his fantasy football sheet after 9/11. He played it for the first time acoustic for a couple thousand Marines, then decided it meant so much to them he wanted to release it. He detailed his trips to Iraq and Afghanistan and how the men and women he has met, and their families, have become a part of his extended tribe. When his guitarist’s two-year-old daughter died from cancer, he decided to start the OK Kids Corral in Oklahoma City. Patients and their families at OU Medical Center and nearby facilities stay free at the home-away-from-home.
Keith also explained that sometimes fear of success can be more stifling than fear of failure. He wants to live his life, not hide from the paparazzi. “I lead with my face, and figure it out later” he said. When asked about his musical influences he mentioned Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Bob Seger. His love for songwriting and being true to himself keep him going. “if it was all over tomorrow and I had laryngitis, I’d be a songwriter,” he added. (Source: Country Aircheck Paul Williams)

CRS In Action: BMLG Luncheon (12 noon to 1:50)
Big Machine Label Group (BMLG) hosted its annual Country Radio Seminar (CRS) luncheon Friday (Feb 24).
It featured artists included A Thousand Horses (ATH; Image) and Maddie & Tae (Image); recent label signees Carly Pearce (Image) and Delta Rae (Image); and standing-ovation recipients Trent Harmon (Image) and Midland (Image).
Each act showcased new music for the 2017 year, with Pearce, Harmon, and Midland offering stripped down acoustic sets intermixed with full-band productions from ATH, Maddie & Tae, and Delta Rae.
The aforementioned standing ovations came for Harmon's bluesy vocals and acoustic riffs on his self-penned "Her," as well as for Midland's complete set, which included "Check Cashin' Country," "Burn Out," and "Drinkin' Problem." Event host and BMLG President/CEO Scott Borchetta said of the latter, "We are going to break this act together." If the crowd reaction to Midland is any indication, BORCHETTA is correct.
Sandhill Media Group Country KUPI/Idaho Falls, ID morning co-host Jess Jennings shared with All Access her overall takeaways following the lunch. "Maddie & Tae are growing up, and their sound is growing with them," said Jennings, who cited the duo's closing song, "Somebody Will" as a highlight. "Trent Harmon bared his soul and won! I can't wait to see what happens there. And Midland -- well, if Jim Croce, Gordon Lightfoot, and The Eagles had bastard triplets, these guys are them! Harmonies are pure, their sound is organic ... just classic!"

(Back row L-R) BMLG Luncheon Bill Satcher, Graham DeLoach, Michael Hobby, and Zach Brown of A Thousand Horses, Jess Carson, Cameron Duddy, & Mark Wystrach of Midland, 
(2nd row L-R) Eric Holljes, Grant Emerson, Mike McKee, Brittany Holljes, & Elizabeth Hopkins of Delta Rae, 
(front row L-R) Trent Harmon, Carly Pearce, CEO of Big Machine Records Scott Borchetta, and Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye of Maddie and Tae pose for a photo during CRS 2017 - Day 3 on February 24, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Feb 23, 2017 Source: Rick Diamond/Getty Images North America)

2017 CRS New Faces of Country Music Show
The annual New Faces of Country Music show during Country Radio Seminar has facilitated the launch the careers of several well-known artists — Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Rascal Flatts and Randy Travis, to name a few.
On Friday night (Feb. 24), 2017’s New Faces class — Drake White, William Michael Morgan, Granger Smith, Jon Pardi and Maren Morris — proved that they’re poised to become equally recognizable names in the years to come, each performing a few of their songs before a crowd of radio personnel and media members.
Granger Smith, William Michael Morgan, Maren Morris, Drake White, and Jon Pardi attend CRS 2017 - Day 3 on February 24, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.
(Feb. 23, 2017 - Source: Rick Diamond/Getty Images North America)

Drake White (Image) kicked off his soulful set, during which he was joined by his band, the Big Fire, by singing one of his early singles, “It Feels Good.” He followed with his recent Top 15 hit “Livin’ the Dream,” “Heartbeat” and his current singe, “Makin’ Me Look Good Again;” all of the songs appear on White’s recent album, SPARK.

William Michael Morgan (Image) took the stage next, singing the title cut of his recent album, Vinyl, followed by “Beer Drinker;” his current single, “Missing;” and his recent No. 1 hit, “I Met a Girl.”

Granger Smith, who signed with Broken Bow Records to release his 2016 record REMINGTON after spending almost two decades releasing albums independently, took time onstage to thank those in the industry that’s allowed him to find so much success. He sang his current single, “If the Boot Fits,” followed by his first No. 1 hit, “Backroad Song.” Smith then exited the stage and returned as his alter ego (Image), Earl Dibbles Jr., to sing “The Country Boy Song.”

Jon Pardi (Image) followed Smith, running through “Cowboy Hat,” the tender “She Ain’t in It,” his chart-topping tune “Head Over Boots” and his current hit, “Dirt on My Boots,” which is poised to become his second No. 1 single.

Maren Morris gave the stand-out performance of the night: She was the artist who needed the approval of the crowd the least — she’s already earned an armful of awards for her achievements, including a recent Grammys trophy — yet she performed as if she was in front of millions.

Morris kicked off her brief set with her recent single, “’80s Mercedes,” before announcing that her second song, “I Could Use a Love Song,” will be her next single. Morris followed with her breakout smash hit, “My Church,” before closing the night with “Rich,” all from her 2016 debut album, HERO.

Tweets, Photos & Videos: #CRS2017

Country Radio Broadcasters: Mission Statement
Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. was created to provide a platform and structure for education and growth for the Country Music format, serving as the conduit connecting the interests of Country Radio with the Country Music Industry.
Our motto is and has always been "Growth Thru Sharing"! That motto led to the Country Radio Seminar®, which continues to evolve, educate and promote the exchange of ideas and business practices which keep the Country Format dominant and vital.
We bring Country Radio broadcasters from around the nation together to enhance skills, facilitate business, and promote the growth of the industry.
We value professionalism and ethics within our industries and our organization, as we value humanitarian endeavours that improve the quality of our lives."
Country Radio embraces our changing business environment and technologies as we strive to continue as the primary medium for the exposure of Country songs and recordings.
Since our founding as Country Radio Broadcasters in 1969, the number of Country Radio stations in the United States has grown from about 600 to almost 1700 today. Country continues to be the dominant radio format in America.

Country Radio Seminar 2017 came to a close Friday night, Feb. 24, 2017. The three-day seminar, held exclusively for the country radio industry, took place Wednesday, Feb. 22 through Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. The agenda was filled with all-star line-ups of entertainment performances from up-and-comers to the Country giant powerhouses of today as well as intriguing and informative discussions, panels, and mentoring breakfasts. This year’s event was even better than the last, hosting prominent and inspiring featured speakers and talented mentors and discussion leaders.
CRS Executive Director, Bill Mayne, commented, “This year’s seminar went beyond expectations. We have heard nothing but positive feedback from attendees and look forward to throwing an even better, more evolved and fantastic seminar next year.”

About CRS:
The Country Radio Seminar is an annual convention designed to educate and promote the exchange of ideas in the country music industry. Country Radio Seminar is a registered trademark of Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc.
CRS 2018 has already been set, returning to the Omni Nashville Monday through Wednesday, Feb. 5-7, 2018.

CONNECT with Country Radio Seminar®,:
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