Opry Entertainment Group today (March 6) announced it has created a programming and artist relations division which will be headed by Sally Williams. Her new post is Senior Vice President of Programming & Artist Relations for Opry Entertainment, and General Manager of the Grand Ole Opry, reporting to Opry Entertainment Chief Operating Officer, Michael Guth.
Williams, who was previously the Company’s Vice President of Concerts & Entertainment and General Manager of Ryman Auditorium, will lead a team that will be responsible for all booking, programming, artist relations and artist collaborations across Opry Entertainment’s growing portfolio of media and entertainment assets, among them: the Grand Ole Opry, Grand Ole Opry House, Ryman Auditorium, Opry City Stage (Summer 2017), Ole Red Nashville (Spring 2018) and Ole Red Tishomingo (Fall 2017).
As part of her new role, Williams will also serve as general manager of the Grand Ole Opry where she will be responsible for overseeing the show’s lineup, programming and member relations. She will continue to oversee programming for the Ryman.
The new division headed by Williams also includes Dan Rogers, promoted to Director of Marketing, Communication, and Artist Initiatives; Gina Keltner, promoted to Senior Talent Manager; Dolly Chandler in the new position of Opry Entertainment Group Talent Buyer; and other team members to be announced.
Colin Reed, chairman and chief executive officer of Opry Entertainment parent company Ryman Hospitality Properties, said, “In all of my time with this company, I have never been more excited about the opportunity we have to expand the Opry’s reach and share its story with more people than ever before. Given the growing breadth and depth of our assets, we are increasing the resources dedicated to partnering with the music community and better aligning our portfolio to support developing artists, honor today’s superstars, and celebrate country music’s legends. Sally is uniquely qualified to lead this new division.”
Williams, who is currently serving as the 2017 chairman of the County Music Association, joined the Company in 1999 and spent seven years managing concerts and other events for the Opry Entertainment Complex. After a brief stint with the Country Music Association, Williams returned to the Company in 2008 as General Manager of Ryman Auditorium. Under Williams’ leadership, Ryman Auditorium has been named Pollstar Magazine’s Theatre of Year for seven consecutive years and CMA’s Touring Awards Venue of the Year for five consecutive years. Williams has received numerous industry awards and recognitions for her expertise in venue management, talent buying and event promotion.
“It’s such a privilege to be part of Nashville’s music community,” said Williams. “The teams at the Opry and the Ryman are extremely passionate about being good partners in the creation of meaningful experiences for both artists and fans. I’m excited to work with them as we continue to expand these opportunities.”