The Country Radio Broadcasters have announced the Class of 2022 Country Radio Hall of Fame honorees. Multi-Platinum recording artist Jason Aldean revealed the new inductees during CRS Honors on Wednesday (Feb. 23) at CRS 2022.
Becky Brenner and Barry Mardit will be honored as off-air radio broadcasters, while Whitney Allen, Debbie Conner, Cathy Martindale, and Rachel & Grumwald will be inducted as on-air radio personalities.
CRB’s Country Radio Hall of Fame Committee Chairman, Joel Raab, says: “This Radio Hall of Fame Class has made us all proud! Congratulations to this esteemed group of dedicated professionals who have given so much of themselves to country radio.”
The Country Radio Hall of Fame serves to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the radio industry over a 20-year period, 15 of which must be in the country format.
The new class will be inducted during the annual Country Radio Hall of Fame Ceremony on June 30 at the Virgin Hotel in Nashville. Exact times and ticket information will be released closer to the event.
About the 2022 Honorees:
Becky Brenner is a 45-year industry veteran and one of the most respected programmers in country radio. Currently, she is a Consulting Partner with Albright & O’Malley & Brenner Country Radio Specialists. Her combined 26 years at KMPS/Seattle, handling on-air, promotions, music, programming and Dir./Operation duties, led KMPS to win two CMA Station of the Year Awards. She is the recipient of the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award in Programming from the MIW Organization, a 20-yearlong CRB Board member and past President of the organization, and has served on the CMA Board since 2005.
Barry Mardit has spent 47 years in the radio industry. His successful career includes major market programming stops at WEEP/Pittsburgh and WWWW/Detroit. During his 12-year tenure at WWWW, he earned Billboard, CMA Program Director, and Station of the Year honors, and a NAB Marconi Award. Mardit is still active in radio with Barry Mardit Consulting and he services on the CRB/CRS Agenda Committee.
Whitney Allen began her career in 1979 and quickly segued to country radio in 1982. After spending two years at Country KCBQ/San Diego, she jumped to the Los Angeles market at Top 40 Pirate Radio, followed by KIIS. After joining the nationally syndicated After Midnite in 1995 where she handled weekends for eight years, she was hired for afternoons at KZLA/Los Angeles (2003). She since has created and hosted the nationally syndicated weekend show America’s Hot List (2005) and expanded to night shows The Big Time and Big Time Saturday Night. Whitney holds multiple CMA and ACM Personality of the Year nominations, is a Radio Hall of Fame nominee, and a 2018 Gracie Award recipient.
Debbie Conner began her radio career in 1966 and soon become a pioneering female broadcaster and programmer. She’s left her mark in many markets throughout her career, including stops at KHAK/Cedar Rapids, IA, WMPS/Memphis, WSAI/Cincinnati, WCAO/Baltimore, WYCT/Pensacola, and WIL/St. Louis. She spent 12 years at WIL/St. Louis, where she earned multiple ACM and CMA Personality of the Year nominations and won the Billboard Personality of The Year award. She previously served as a midday host on the Sirius Satellite Roadhouse Channel and has hosted Country Oldies Hall of Fame Segments since 2014.
Cathy Martindale is a trailblazing female figure in radio. She began her country radio career in 1974 at KSCS/Dallas, where she served as PD, APD, and MD. In 1983, she took a job with WSM AM/FM, which she held for 17 years, doing mornings, afternoons, and even working as the Music Director. She became the first female to achieve the No. 1 rated drive-time show on Nashville radio during that time. From 1984 to 1994, she hosted Nashville Network (Video PM, Country Beat), and in 1993, she began co-hosting Racing Country/Racing Country Classic, which is heard in roughly 200 markets. She is a three-time finalist for CMA Large Market and/or Syndicated Personality of the Year and is a member of the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame.
Rachel & Grunwald have been a part of the morning team at WYCD/Detroit since 2005 and are both deeply embedded in community service efforts. Rachel is a 2013 Gracie Award recipient and Grunwald is a part-time police officer in his community. They received the NAB Marconi Award in 2012 and 2016 as well as Best Morning Show from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters in 2017 and 2019. Additionally, they have received multiple CMA and ACM Personalities of the Year nominations.
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