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Commissioner’s radio station garners CMA award

Not everyone has the opportunity to meet a country music star, but Knox County 5th District County Commissioner Mike Hammond had the chance to meet and greet several of them in the course of one evening.

Hammond, operations manager of local radio station WIVK, spent an evening with the stars of country music during the recent Country Music Association awards festivities in Nashville.

Hammond was on hand at the 40th CMA awards Monday, Nov. 6, to receive an award on behalf of WIVK.

“We received the Media Market Station of the Year award,” he said. “This makes the sixth time we’ve won it, but not the sixth time in a row because they have a rule that if you win, you have to wait a year before you can win again. That may be more than any station in our market size has won before. We’re a seventy-one, a medium media market.”

It was a night for awards. Kenny Chesney won entertainer of the year and Brooks & Dunn's inspirational song “Believe” won three trophies, including single and song of the year.

Hammond said being at the CMA awards generates and excitement and a vitality that isn’t found at most places.

“It’s unbelievable being there with them,” he said. “I’m backstage with Jon Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crowe, Martina McBride was back there, Kenny Chesney, Gretchen Wilson… I mean all the stars on the show are hanging out backstage and it’s nice to be able to say hello to people and chat with folks. I saw Brad Paisley and his wife and Vince Gill and had a chance to speak briefly with them. It’s really kind of a star-studded night when you are there and you are actually getting an award because you get to go backstage and you are treated just like any other nominee for an award.”

Hammond was given a few other gifts as an award recipient. He was given a Wrangler hat, a CMA jacket, a denim bag and a couple of other prizes. After the awards ceremony, Hammond said he spent the evening attending parties with the CMA stars.

“I went to a Rascall Flats party, congratulated them on their win and of course they congratulated us,” he said. “Then we went to the RCA/Sony party and saw Kenny Chesney there. Of course he was named entertainer of the year and we congratulated each other. I’ve known Kenny for a long time. Then we went to the Universal party. It was three in the morning before we called it quits. It was tremendous fun.”

Hammond said he attributes the winning of the award six times to staff members of WIVK.

“We have a staff of great people that have stayed together for a number of years,” he said. “We’re very committed to the community. A lot of this award is based on what you do for the community.”


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