published Friday, February 24th, 2012

Courter: US101 wins again; CSO drops second performance

Some things never get old.

The trophy shelf, or make that shelves, over at WUSY-FM 100.7 got a new addition last week.

The Academy of County Music again named US101 Small Market Station of the Year. Because of time limitations, the radio award winners are announced separately from the annual show, which will be aired April 1 on CBS.

For those of you keeping score at home, that brings the total number of "Best Of" honors the station has won to 62, according to market manager Jared Stehney. These include personality and overall station awards.

They've also been honored by the ACM, the Country Music Association, Billboard and other industry groups.

"It's a great honor and something we are very proud of," said Stehney.

"It's not something we ever take for granted."

US101 so dominated the CMAs, winning Station of the Year seven straight times from 1995 to 2001, that the organization changed the rules and no longer lets stations win in back-to-back years.

* * *

The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera informed its Masterworks subscribers that it will offer only one performance for each Masterworks concert for 2012-2013, and it will take place on Saturday nights.

In the past, two concert nights were offered.

The announcement, sent in a letter to subscribers, said the change is being made because Allied Arts is providing $143,000 less for the 2011-2012 season and will cut an additional $120,000 over the next three years.

Also, the letter states that the second concert "actually causes a budget deficit for the CSO." Essentially, the two shows play to half-empty rooms, the letter states.

Some of the concerts will be repeated on Sunday at the Volkswagen Conference Center. More information on that will be released as it becomes available.

This change does raise an issue for season ticket-holders, since only one subscriber will be able to get the same seats they've secured in years past. The CSO will be offering long-term donors and subscribers the first option to purchase and, after that, subscriptions will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

* * *

Channing Wilson has been added to the third annual Country Throwdown Tour set to take place this summer.

Wilson, you might remember, took a job as a contracted songwriter with EMI Publishing a little over a year ago. For a while, he was commuting between here and Nashville, but he has since moved there.

Beginning in late May, he will hit the road with a group of musicians and travel the country for about two months. The concerts are outdoor, multistage events that showcase a lot of new and established performers.

Headlining this year's tour is Gary Allan. He'll be joined by artists such as Rodney Atkins, Justin Moore, Josh Thompson, Eric Paslay and Sunny Sweeney.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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