The team of Jennifer Meyer (Senior Producer) and Ray Sells (Supervising Producer) of “CMT Insider,” a half-hour weekly Country Music-centric entertainment magazine program airing on CMT, were presented the 2012 CMA Media Achievement Award backstage in the media center during “The 46th Annual CMA Awards.”
“Wow! How fabulous to be recognized by the publicists Ray and I work closely with on a daily basis,” said Meyer. “We have been lucky to make TV shows about Country Music for almost 20 years and loved every minute of it.”
“What a tremendous honor! As I look over the journalists who’ve won this award over the years, I’m truly humbled,” said Sells. “I’m especially proud to win this honor from such a prestigious organization and share it with a great friend.”
“Jennifer and Ray are well respected within the industry and are highly regarded for their creativity, integrity, and passion for Country Music and the artists they cover for CMT,” said CMA Vice President of Corporate Communications Wendy Pearl. “They are a great team and have contributed to the development of many artist careers as well as championing our legends.”
Their work has helped make “CMT Insider” one of the highest-rated shows on CMT. Meyer, Sells, and their staff of reporters and video journalists regularly cover all major Country Music events including the CMA Awards and CMA Music Festival. In addition to their work at “CMT Insider,” Meyer and Sells also worked closely together as a team at their previous employer, Jim Owens & Associates.
Since 2001, Meyer has worked for MTV Networks in the CMT News Department, first as the Coordinating Producer and currently as the Senior Producer for “CMT Insider.” She is responsible for generating stories, booking video shoots, and managing staff to produce the weekly entertainment news program.
Previously, Meyer served as the CMA Creative Services Manager from June 2000 to June 2001, where she created editorial content and oversaw production of the bi-monthly member magazine CMA Close Up as well as the annual program books for both the CMA Awards and Fan Fair. From 1993-1999, she was employed by Jim Owens & Associates, first as Assignment Manager and later as Program Manager where she managed the newsgathering operation of more than 30 reporters, writers, and video journalists, and generated stories for programs including “Crook and Chase,” “TNN Country News,” “This Week in Country Music,” and more.
Before entering entertainment journalism, Meyer served as Assignment Manager at WKRN-TV (ABC/Nashville) from 1992-1993 and KNTV-TV (NBC/San Jose) from 1990-1991; Assignment Editor at KRON-TV (NBC/Oakland) from 1987-1990; and a news writer at KICU-TV (Independent/San Jose) in 1987.
Meyer graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio/Television Journalism. She won a PRISM Award for the CMT News Special “Addicted to Addiction” in 2005; a Peabody Award for field-producing an investigative story on political lobbyists for WKRN-TV in 1993; and, as part of the News Operation team, received a Regional Emmy Award for News Excellence during her tenure at WKRN-TV in 1993.
Sells is currently employed at MTV Networks in the CMT News Department as the Supervising Producer of “CMT Insider,” a role he has held since 2004. In this role he supervises a staff of 20 producers, reporters, editors, and more, and is involved in every aspect of production, running the studio and on-location taping with the program’s host, serving as script editor, leading the weekly pitch meetings, supervising post-production, and more. He also works closely with CMT’s online division to optimize synergy between broadcast and the Internet.
Previously, Sells was a producer of long-form programming for Tangible Vision from 2002-2004, where he oversaw production of long-form music documentary specials, conducted on-camera interviews with celebrities, and supervised post-production schedules. From 2000-2002, he was a producer for the television series “Our Place” for Reid Land Productions which aired on HGTV. In that role, Sells developed creative ideas and implemented field segments, supervised field shoots on location in cities around the country, conducted on-camera interviews, and both wrote and offline edited segments for each season of shows. From 1990-1999, Sells worked as Senior Producer with Jim Owens & Associates, where he developed and produced various series and specials on Country Music, including “Crook and Chase,” “This Week in Country Music,” “TNN Country News,” and more.
Sells graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism and Minors in both English and Theater.
The CMA Media Achievement Award was established to recognize outstanding achievements in 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.
CMA member publicists nominate media candidates for consideration. The top five nominees are collected and sent to the publicist panel for a second round of voting. The overall winner is presented to the Awards and Recognition Committee and then approved by the CMA Board of Directors.
Past winners of the 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