The Country Music Association has announced the promotion of Catharine McNelly to Senior Director of Communications, overseeing the organization’s media and communications efforts, while Stephanie Shank joins CMA’s Communications team as Manager of Production & Talent Relations.
McNelly advances to Senior Director of Communications from Director of Communications, a position she has held for over a year. In her new role, she will lead the Communications department, developing strategic media plans for CMA’s television properties and live events as well as organizational initiatives. Before joining CMA, McNelly worked for Columbia Records where she was a senior publicist, overseeing the campaigns of a diverse group of artists, including James Arthur, Leonard Cohen, Celine Dion, First Aid Kit, Calvin Harris, Rachel Platten, Natalie Prass, The Shins and Pharrell Williams. Prior to Columbia, McNelly worked at Atlantic Records, handling campaigns for Death Cab for Cutie, Flo Rida, Paramore, Portugal. The Man, Straight No Chaser, T.I., and the “Twilight” series soundtracks. A native of Alton, Illinois, she received a Communications and Media Studies degree from Fordham University in New York City.
“Catharine has been a valuable leader to the Communications team and has brought a spirit of collaboration, passion, innovation and media expertise to the role since joining CMA in 2017,” said Damon Whiteside, CMA Chief Marketing Officer. “She and her dedicated team will continue to develop new, more effective ways of driving CMA’s strategic communications initiatives including the CMA Foundation, while further supporting our organization’s growth and expansion.”
Shank has worked as a contractor for CMA since August 2018, assisting the Communications department with the execution of the CMA Awards, “CMA Country Christmas,” the Country Music Hall of Fame inductee press conference and more. In her new role as Manager of Production & Talent Relations, Shank will continue to work with the Communications team, serving as a production and planning liaison between internal departments and talent representatives. In addition to overseeing media production aspects, Shank will serve as the point person for talent and media at all CMA Events. Prior to CMA, she worked for FlyteVu where she managed publicity campaigns and organized talent interviews for Bumble, Cracker Barrel, Lyft and Tennessee Tourism. Before FlyteVu, Shank worked for dick clark productions in Los Angeles as Manager of Communications and Talent Relations, working on awards shows and television events including the American Music Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, Golden Globe Awards and more. An Orange County, California native, she graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a degree in Communications: Entertainment Studies.
McNelly, whose team also includes Manager of Media Relations, Krista Dial, and Communications Coordinator, Lisa Valentine, reports to Whiteside. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shank reports to McNelly. Reach her at email@example.com.
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