CMA Promotes Damon Whiteside To Chief Marketing Officer

Damon Whiteside. Photo: CMA

The Country Music Association has promoted Damon Whiteside to Chief Marketing Officer. He previously served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships.

As CMO, Whiteside’s new responsibilities will include oversight of the CMA Communications department, which will become more integrated with the overall strategic marketing teams. He will also continue to oversee CMA Marketing, which includes the Creative Services, Digital, Research, and Strategic Partnerships departments.

Reporting to Whiteside will be newly-created positions Vice President of Communications and Talent Relations and Vice President of Marketing Strategy. Whiteside will continue to report to CMA Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Trahern.

“Damon’s leadership in our marketing and partnership initiatives was key to the historic success of The 50th Annual CMA Awards,” said Trahern. “His efforts on behalf of the industry have enhanced CMA’s reputation for generating innovative marketing campaigns and creating partnerships. The experience and passion he brings to this expanded role will help us continue to build the CMA brand and grow country music around the world.”

“I am extremely proud and excited about this expanded role and opportunity to build on the huge accomplishments the dedicated team at CMA has been able to achieve these last three years thanks to the support and guidance of the CMA Board and Sarah Trahern,” stated Whiteside. “It is humbling to work every day in this amazing industry and city, and to be part of a revered organization like CMA and its historic landmark initiatives such as The 50th Annual CMA Awards and the ‘Forever Country’ project last year.”

In his first three years at CMA, Whiteside has been responsible for overseeing the development of marketing and media campaigns for CMA’s annual television properties and strengthening the partnership with CMA’s exclusive broadcast partner ABC Television Network and its parent, The Walt Disney Company. Additionally, Whiteside dedicated efforts to identify and build strategic partnerships with multi-platform media partners, digital companies, and Fortune 500 brands.

Notable accomplishments include his role in the year-long campaign for The 50th Annual CMA Awards and the groundbreaking “Forever Country” single and music video campaign; the launch of CMA Brand Marketing Summits in New York and London; growth across CMA digital platforms; the re-launch of CMA’s YouTube channel and content creation efforts; integrated media partnerships with top digital, radio, and cable television partners; re-branding of CMA Music Festival and Fan Fair X; supporting the CMA Board of Directors’ expansion of international efforts; and overall re-tooling of CMA Marketing, Research, and Strategic Partnerships teams to better serve the needs of the country music industry.

Prior to CMA, Whiteside worked for numerous Disney-owned companies including Disney Music Group, Walt Disney Studios, Disney Channel, and Disney Consumer Products as well as forming Nomad Entertainment Group, a Music Management and Brand Marketing agency.


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at

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