CMA & EP Robert Deaton Agree to Contract Extension as 51ST CMA AWARDS Approach

CMA has locked up the creative vision behind its three popular network television properties, signing Executive Producer Robert Deaton to a five-year contract extension this week as he makes final preparations for 51ST ANNUAL CMA AWARDS. The deal will keep Deaton at the helm of the CMA Awards, "CMA Fest" and "CMA Country Christmas" through 2021 - the length of CMA's current deal with ABC.

Deaton, a two-time Emmy Award-winning producer and director, has overseen CMA's biggest television property since 2007. The CMA Awards, the longest running televised music awards show, will air live from Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 8 (8:00 PM - 11:00 PM ET), on the ABC Television Network. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood co-host for the 10th consecutive year.

"Robert has been a visionary leader for 'The CMA Awards,' 'CMA Music Fest' and 'CMA Country Christmas' since he first came aboard," CMA CEO Sarah Trahern said. "He has helped to create three unforgettable network television moments for fans each year, and the tens of millions who tune in annually are a testament to his hard work, dedication and creativity. We look forward to even more over the next half decade from our amazing partnership."

"My work with the CMA has become a passion for me, something I'm always thinking about," Deaton said. "We have built an amazing team over the last decade, evolving the show into what it is today. For all these people, the show also is a passion, and I'm beyond excited that we can keep our group together for another five years. Expect something amazing."

Deaton has more than 500 music videos to his credit. He's worked with many of pop music's biggest stars and is responsible for some of Country Music's most memorable moments as the head of CMA's network productions. He singlehandedly created CMA Music Fest's television special, shooting the four-day event with his own equipment, editing together a sizzle reel and selling it to ABC. In its 14th year in 2017, the special turned in the network's highest summertime non-sports show ratings in nearly seven years.

Deaton was named executive producer of the CMA Awards in 2007, recruiting Paisley and Underwood shortly thereafter to helm a show that continues to be one of ABC's biggest live ratings night each year. Deaton, Paisley and Underwood serve as three-quarters of the show's writing team as well. He also serves as executive producer of the BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS and directed his first feature-length film, Rounding Third, in 2016. Deaton recently signed with (UTA) United Talent Agency for all areas of representation.

The executive producer has paired some of Country Music's top stars with pop music's biggest names to create some of the entertainment world's most viral moments over the years (no one will soon forget his teaming of Beyonce and The Dixie Chicks or Justin Timberlake with Chris Stapleton). "The 51st Annual CMA Music Awards" will feature several more unique pairings, including the highly anticipated cross-format pairing of Maren Morris and Niall Horan.

About the Country Music Association: Founded in 1958, the Country Music Association is the first trade organization formed to promote a type of music. In 1961, CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame to recognize artists and industry professionals with Country Music's highest honor. More than 7,800 music industry professionals and companies from around the globe are members of CMA. The organization's objectives are to serve as an educational and professional resource for the industry and advance the growth of Country Music around the world. This is accomplished through CMA's core initiatives: the CMA Awards, which annually recognize outstanding achievement in the industry; CMA Music Festival, which benefits music education and is taped for a network television three-hour special, "CMA Fest"; and "CMA Country Christmas," featuring Country artists performing original music and Christmas classics for broadcast during the holiday season. All of CMA's television properties will air on the ABC Television network through 2021.

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