ACM Chairman Ken Tucker Looks Ahead to the Group's Future Under New CEO Pete Fisher

publish date: 2017-01-10
source: billboard


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The Academy of Country Music may have been founded more than 50 years ago, but the Encino, Calif.-based trade organization has never been afraid to embrace change. That has rarely been more true than in 2017, when it will welcome a dynamic new CEO (it was announced Jan. 9 that longtime Grand Ole Opry vp/GM Pete Fisher will join the Academy in that role at the end of the month) and a move to a larger venue (the new location still has not been revealed) for its annual spring awards show in Las Vegas. Also fresh to his role is board of directors chairman Ken Tucker, who is enthusiastically helping usher in a new era for the venerable group. “It’s an exciting time at the Academy,” he says.
Tucker, a member of the ACM board since 2010, has embraced change in his own career as well. Initially a public school speech and hearing therapist in West Virginia, Tucker switched to a job as a country radio DJ, which in turn led to a move to Nashville and stints as a reporter (and, later, salesman) for trade publication Radio & Records, followed by an almost nine-year run as a record promoter with Warner Music Nashville before he returned to journalism as a writer for Country Airplay Monitor and its parent publication, , and later the managing editor position at Country Weekly. Tucker, who is still based in Nashville, currently heads up country and Christian music programming for iTunes and Apple Music.
: Why did the board choose Pete Fisher as CEO?
Ken Tucker: He’s so well respected in [Nashville] by artists, managers and pretty much anyone else that he’s dealt with … He’s artist-centric and genre-centric. Throughout his career he’s taken a forward-looking view at growing and exposing our format in a positive manner. He’s a great strategist and brand-planner, a great communicator within the industry, a team-builder, [and he] believes in solid partnerships.