Rising Women On The Row Spotlight: 5 Questions With CAA’s Meredith Jones

Meredith Jones

MusicRow Magazine’s eighth annual Rising Women on the Row event will be held Tuesday, March 26, at Omni Hotel Nashville.

This year’s honorees include Sandi Spika Borchetta (Big Machine Label Group, Sr. VP Creative), Janine Ebach (Curb|Word Music Publishing, VP), Kelly Janson (Kelly Janson Management, Manager), Meredith Jones (Creative Artists Agency, Agent), Lenore Kinder (Paradigm Talent Agency, Agent), and Jennifer Turnbow (NSAI, Sr. Director of Operations).

Leading up to the event, MusicRow is spotlighting each honoree with a brief Q&A.

Meredith Jones guides the careers of artists including Maren Morris, Little Big Town, Whiskey Myers, Chase Rice and Tenille Townes. Jones helped strategically navigate Morris’ recently-announced 2019 international GIRL: The World Tour, which sold out in minutes across nearly every market. Overseeing college and university bookings on behalf of the entire music department, Jones and her team book more than 600 dates a year across all genres. She works with radio host Bobby Bones to create opportunities which include sold-out stand-up tours, two No. 1 New York Times best-selling books and television shows such as Dancing With the Stars and American Idol. Jones was named to CAA’s Global Fellows, a leadership development program for agents, and serves as a mentor to the next generation of agents as a Trainee Program Advisor. In 2018, she helped ideate CAA’s THE HUBB, an internship and career-ready college student summit. She is a founding member of both FORWARD, an employee program that provides professional development for women within the company, and the agency’s female-led EVOLVE committee, dedicated to providing the most respectful and safe work environment. She also serves on the Development Committee with PENCIL Foundation and is in the current Leadership Music class.

MusicRow: What is the biggest lesson on leadership you have learned in your career?
To lead is to serve. I walk into the office every day thrilled to be surrounded by a tremendous group of colleagues helping our clients to succeed. CAA’s culture is one of collaboration. I am dedicated to mentoring the next generation of this industry. If you pour time and energy into helping to grow one person, I believe it will grow the overall business as a whole.

MR: Who has been one of your biggest mentors, and what have they taught you?
I’ve learned a lot from John Huie, Rod Essig, Marc Dennis, Darin Murphy, and Brian Manning who have led our office in my tenure at CAA. They’ve taught me how to think about my clients long term, not just deal by deal. One of my biggest mentors is in our Los Angeles office, Michelle Kydd Lee (CAA’s Chief Innovation Officer). She has always pushed me outside my comfort zone to be more creative, think bigger, blur the lines, and to give back to the community that supports me.

MR: Describe a time that you took a big risk in your career, and how did it pay off?
I’m lucky enough to work in a place where it’s safe and encouraged to take risks. It was hard for me to choose one story. Here are a few examples:

When I was an Agent Trainee, Chase Rice tapped me on the shoulder at the annual CAA BBQ and we began a conversation about live music. He sent me some incredible songs the next morning. Not technically being in a place to sign anyone, I still felt strong enough to bring him up in a meeting. After playing the demos, the room exploded. I signed him over the course of the following weeks.

On the first record cycle with Maren Morris, we believed that although she was on a country label with country radio support, her music was genre-free. I made it a mission that year to get her on as many multi-genre festivals as we could to make a statement to the industry. We confirmed her on Bonnaroo, ACL, and Bumbershoot that year.

MR: As Nashville continues to grow and evolve, what changes in the music industry excite you the most?

I am grateful that the live music business is thriving and continues to grow year-over-year. I think that we have more tools than ever to make the best strategic deals using analytics from digital media sources.

MR: Favorite Nashville place to hold a business meeting/lunch?

Merchants- cobb salad, no blue cheese.

(City National Bank, Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, and Loeb & Loeb are again the Presenting Sponsors for the 2019 Rising Women on the Row.)

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About the Author

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 jnicholson@musicrow.com.

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