Radio professionals from across the nation are converging on Nashville this week for Country Radio Seminar (CRS), an annual gathering that gives them the chance to rub elbows with the next generation of country stars and plot the myriad ways they’ll desecrate country music in the year ahead.
The lobby of the Nashville Hilton, where much of the radio talent is staying during the three-day convention, rang with laughter on Tuesday night, as old friends reconnected over mindless catchphrases, Kanye West jokes (“They never get old!” howled Paul Gorley, KPTY), and a shared affection for soft rock music.
“Anyone know if the Eagles are releasing a new country album soon? God, I love the Eagles. I feel like the Zac Brown Band would be a lot better if they were more Eaglesy,” said Chuck Cantrell, station manager at KFLP in Des Moines. “Do we really have to play so much music? I mean, we make most of our money through ad sales. Isn’t one or two songs per hour enough?” wondered Dave Davies, WKIX. “You know, I really think we should take a second look at Jessica Simpson,” offered Claire Jones, WTFF.
In a far corner of the lobby, a ‘Love & Theft for CMHoF’ petition was making the rounds.
In addition to special performances and showcases all over Nashville, the seminar includes a number of informational lectures covering topics of interest to visiting radio professionals, such as:
- Country Music: 1995 to Present – a crash course in country music for recently defected Top 40 DJs
- Payola: Only Illegal If You’re Really Obvious About It – circumventing antiquated pay-for-play laws
- Playlist Diversification: Why It’s a Terrible Idea
- Over 40?: Not on My Airwaves, Buddy! – studies show that young people can’t relate to old people
- Website Design: Party Like It’s 1998 – all the basics of designing a station website, from pairing eye-assaultingly bright text colors with white backgrounds to adding so many blinking banners that the page won’t load properly
- Deflecting Blame for the Sorry State of Country Radio Without Implicating Your Superiors
- Kanye West Jokes: Still Hilarious After All This Time
- 101 Clever Answers to the Question “How Do You Sleep at Night?”
Jack Ingram, at the convention to record ‘liners’ and interviews for visiting stations, said: “It’s great to be able to catch up with all these folks while they’re in town and kiss some ass… I mean, develop some relationships. I’ve already had, like, ten stations promise to spin ‘Seeings Stars’ if I throw them some autographed swag, so, all in all, not a bad night so far… Wait, this isn’t on the record, is it?”