(Nashville, Tenn. – February 5, 2018) Nine celebrated broadcasters will join the Country Radio Hall of Fame in 2018, as recording artist Cassadee Pope revealed this year’s inductees during today’s (2/5) opening ceremonies for Country Radio Seminar (CRS).
Seven on-air personalities and two off-air broadcasters will be honored. The 2018 Country Radio Hall of Fame Class includes Radio category honorees Michael O’Malley of the Albright, O’Malley & Brenner consulting firm, and the late Lisa McKay, VP/Programming at Curtis Media/Raleigh, who doubled as PD for WQDR. The Air Personality category includes Andy Ritchie and Alison Mencer (“Andy & Alison”) formerly of WIVK/Knoxville; Steve Harmon and Scott Evans (“Harmon And Evans”) formerly of KPLX/Dallas and WXTU/Philadelphia; and Bill Barrett, Tim Fox, and Tracy Berry (“Barrett, Fox, And Berry) still active at KKNU/Eugene, OR.
The Country Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to the recognition of those individuals who have made significant contributions to the radio industry over a 20-year period, 15 of which must be in the Country format.
The Country Radio Hall of Fame Induction and Dinner will be held in Nashville on Wednesday, June 20th, at a location to be announced soon.
About the 2018 Inductees:
Air Personality Category:
Andy & Alison: WIVK/Knoxville
Already seasoned radio personalities as solo air talents when they teamed in 1997, Andy Ritchie and Alison Mencer spent 20 years waking up Knoxville at the legendary WIVK. During that time, Andy & Alison were consistently recognized by the industry with seven CMA Personality of the Year Awards, three ACM Personality of the Year Awards, two CRS Awards, and numerous local awards, too, from the Knoxville Sentinel-News and City View Magazine. With their induction this year, Andy & Alison join former WIVK PDs Mike Hammond (2010) and Les Acree (2007) in the Country Radio Hall of Fame.
Bill Barrett, Tim Fox, and Tracy Berry – “Barret, Fox, And Berry”: KKNU/Eugene, OR
This trio has entertained Eugene radio listeners for 20 years at KKNU, earning consistent ratings success, industry recognition, and now, membership in the Country Radio Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018. These three personalities are deeply rooted in their community, helping to raise more than $1 million annually for local charities. Barrett, Fox, And Berry are three-time ACM Small Market Personality of the Year winners (2012, 2014, 2016), and the 2006 CMA Personality of the Year honorees. The team has also garnered three Marconi Award nominations, describing their show this way: “A fun, uplifting, and informative program that gives listeners a smile and brief respite from their daily challenges through their shared love of Country music.”
Steve Harmon And Scott Evans – “Harmon And Evans”: KPLX/Dallas & WXTU/Philadelphia
Steve Harmon and Scott Evans first teamed in 1985, following successful careers at separate Charlotte, NC radio stations, neither of them Country. After meeting KPLX/Dallas PD Bobby Kraig (CRHoF 2008) at CRS, Harmon and Evans soon found themselves handling mornings in The Big D following Terry Dorsey (2006CRHoF), who had jumped to crosstown Country KSCS. During their eight-years with KLPX, Harmon and Evans enjoyed ratings success and national industry recognition, winning CMA, Billboard, and Texas Country Music Association Awards for Personality of the Year. After splitting briefly in 1996 – with Harmon taking mornings at the legendary KNIX/Phoenix, and Evans creating a nationally syndicated evening show – the pair reunited at WXTU/Philadelphia in 1998, duplicating their Dallas success. With their 2018 induction, Harmon and Evans join fellow KPLX staffers Bobby Kraig and Dan Halyburton (2010) as Country Radio Hall of Fame members, cementing the legacy of KPLX.
Mike O’Malley: Partner, Albright, O’Malley, & Brenner, Country Radio Specialists
O’Malley began his radio career in college, which led to his first commercial radio Job at WATH/Athens, OH, where he juggled on-air and sales positions. His first PD position was WBGM/Tallahassee, followed by WONS/Jacksonville, FL; WQSR/Baltimore; WCAO/Baltimore; and WPKX/Washington, D.C. In 1987, O’Malley was hired to flip then-AC WYNY/New York Country. He programmed the station and held down various air shifts until 1992 when he joined the Moon Mullins Consulting firm. In 1994, O’Malley partnered with Country Radio Hall of Fame member Jaye Albright (2008), forming Albright & O’Malley. The company morphed into its current iteration with the addition of Becky Brenner.
Lisa McKay: Curtis Media/Raleigh VP/Programming, PD, WQDR
Afternoon air personality, WQDR
McKay spent 15 years at WQDR following, a 12-year run at WRVQ/Richmond, VA; WRSF/Nags Head, NC; WSPV/Staunton, VA; WJMA/Orange, VA. Under her leadership, WQDR has beenonce of the most highly decorated Country stations in America, winning national recognition as ACM Station of the Year (2009, 2011) and CMA Station of the Year (2011, 2014). The station’s “Q Crew In The Morning” show was also honored as CMA Personality of the Year (2013), with McKay herself honored by the ACM as Personality of the Year (2013). As a member of the CRS Agenda Committee, McKay was instrumental in helping CRS create a mentoring breakfast, which was inspired by the late programming consultant, Rusty Walker, who mentored so many programmers in Country radio.
Sadly, the Country radio industry lost Lisa McKay far too early last month after a short battle with cancer. A self-penned description of WQDR in McKay’s Hall of Fame submission material proved to be prophetic: “My legacy will be creating and maintaining one of the very best stations in America – by leading by example and speaking up. ‘QDR has a full staff and a lot of moving parts. When you tune in’ QDR, you hear a station that fires on all cylinders. The right music for the market, played in the right rotation, with the right marketing, with creative on-air games, public service that changes lives, personalities who are grooving with the Country lifestyle of the Triangle, and imaging featuring our listeners, infused with heart and momentum.”