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Billboard Journalist Tom Roland Receives the 2018 CMA Media Achievement Award

Billboard Journalist Tom Roland Receives the 2018 CMA Media Achievement Award

Billboard journalist Tom Roland was presented with the 2018 CMA Media Achievement Award backstage Wednesday, Nov. 14 during "The 52nd Annual CMA Awards" at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Country Music Hall of Fame member and three-time CMA Awards winner Bill Anderson addressed journalists during the CMA Awards press conference, surprising Roland with the honor.

In presenting the 37th recipient with the award, Anderson said to press conference attendees, "Even the pros look to Tom Roland. He's one of Country Music's bedrock authorities."

"At every significant juncture in my life, some song was there to act as comfort, to punctuate the joy or to assure me that I wasn't entirely alone," said Roland. "Music is really important, and to get an award for simply trying to convey little pieces of how it works-or how it's made and marketed-is awesome. And surprisingly meaningful. Much appreciation for this!"

After writing about Country Music for more than 35 years, Roland is one of the genre's most trusted experts. For the last eight years, he's worked as the editor and lead writer for Billboard's weekly newsletter, Billboard Country Update.

Roland spent seven years as the senior music writer for Nashville's daily newspaper, The Tennessean, wrote thousands of hours of network radio programs for Westwood One and the United Stations Radio Networks, and compiled credits in The Hollywood Reporter, The Orange County Register, Country Music magazine, Country Weekly and, among others. He spent four years as the music consultant for CMT's game show, "The Singing Bee," and he's authored two books-The Billboard Book Of Number One Country Hits and the Diamond Rio autobiography Beautiful Mess: The Story Of Diamond Rio. Roland also contributed to a Country Music Foundation reference book, The Encyclopedia of Country Music.

Perhaps the most important piece of his career puzzle is, the Ultimate Country Music Database. With 60,000 events from Country Music history catalogued, it's an ever-growing resource that's frequently used by Nashville journalists as a key fact-checking source.

The CMA Media Achievement Award recognizes outstanding achievements in the media as they relate to Country Music. Print and Internet journalists, columnists, authors, and editors; television writers, producers and bookers; and syndicated radio reporters are eligible to win this award.

A task force of industry publicists nominates a slate of five candidates for consideration by CMA member publicists. The publicists select the winner, which is presented to the CMA Awards and Recognition Committee and then approved by the CMA Board of Directors.

Past winners of the CMA Media Achievement Award include:
1982 Jack Hurst
1983 Neil Hickey
1984 Dolly Carlisle
1985 Red O'Donnell
1986 No Award
1987 David Zimmerman
1988 Robert K. Oermann
1989 Bob Claypool
1990 Dick Heard
1991 No Award
1992 Mark McEwen
1993 Lynn Lester
1994 Judy Massa
1995 Clay Smith
1996 Tisi Aylward
1997 Jay Orr
1998 Chet Flippo
1999 Hazel Smith
2000 Neil Pond
2001 Harry Chapman
2002 Jim Patterson
2003 Denise Quan
2004 Alanna Nash
2005 Mark Bracco
2006 Donna Hughes
2007 Storme Warren
2008 Monica Escobedo
2009 Cynthia Sanz
2010 Beville Darden
2011 Ashley Dvorkin
2012 Jennifer Meyer and Ray Sells
2013 Deborah Evans Price
2014 Chuck Dauphin
2015 Cindy Watts
2016 Beville Dunkerley and Joe Hudak
2017 Brittany Schreiber

Photo credit: Jamie Schramm/CMA

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