RECAP: Stellar Radio Station of the Year Awards (2008)

Each of the nominees in the more than 20 categories for the 23rd Annual Stellar Awards have one thing in common. Whether they are a singer, songwriter, or musician, their gospel music has been heard via radio.

It is with that thought in mind that Don Jackson, CEO of Central City Productions (Stellar Awards) teamed with Dr. Al "The Bishop" Hobbs from the Gospel Music Workshop of America's Gospel Announcers Guild to establish, implement and recognize outstanding radio stations.

For the third year, excellence in gospel radio broadcasting and community service by gospel radio stations throughout the country was recognized with the presentation of the Stellar Radio Station of the Year Awards.

Al Hobbs, Donna Creer, Cheryl Jackson, Chevrolet representative, Sam Williams "We are well aware that gospel radio delivers the gospel music message to countless people in their listening area," said Mr. Jackson. "With that thought in mind we gladly pay tribute to several of the outstanding radio properties."

This year a distinguished panel of gospel industry professionals submitted radio stations for this award. The nominated stations completed a packet outlining their record of impactful gospel music programming, responsive service to the gospel industry, and consistent community service (not just self promotion) throughout their targeted markets.

"The criteria that our committee employed was achieving a balanced high degree of delivery in obvious commitments and efforts towards increasing the spiritual and physical quality of life of their listeners," explained Al Hobbs, Stellar Gospel Radio Awards Chair.

The Radio Station of the Year Finalists, Chevy Malibu Stellar Broadcast Center stations and all gospel announcers who attended were celebrated throughout Stellar Weekend Chevy Malibu, sponsor of the Radio Station events, provided free airport transportation for gospel announcers/radio station personnel. On Friday night, radio station finalists walked the Red Carpet, along with the artists who were Stellar Nominees, presenters, record company executives, sports standouts, corporate sponsor representatives and Nashville government officials.

"I had no idea we would be honored like this" Denise Hill, of WLIB New York said. "I can't wait to get back on the air and tell all of our listeners about this fantastic celebration" Gwen Riley from WGRB in Greenwood, Mississippi added.

Saturday morning, the lobby of the Grand Ole Opry was filled with announcers munching on the brunch provided by sponsor Chevy Malibu. Eight radio stations and two television properties from across the country broadcast live and taped liners and promos from gospel artists at the Chevy Malibu Stellar Broadcast Center.

Artists who were interviewed at the broadcast center included Darius Brooks, Carolyn Traylor, Bryan Wilson, William Murphy, Sherry Jones Moffett, Big Mike from Slim and the Supreme Angels, Same Seed, Regina Belle, Vashawn Mitchell, Lemmie Battles, Antwan Stanley, Z'iel, and Dr Bobby Jones and more.

"We were able to bring our listeners "Up close and personal" to the Stellar events and personalities, long before it airs in our market" WHAL Memphis gospel music director Tracy Bethea commented.

The Acuff Theatre was where the Stellar Radio Station of the Year finalists and winners in each market category were announced by Al 'the Bishop" Hobbs and Angela Spivey. All were awarded certificates, with the category winners receiving a miniature Stellar Trophy.

2007 Stellar Gospel Announcer of the Year Ollie Booker of St. Louis introduced the 2008 Announcer of the Year, Cheryl Jackson. Chevy Malibu awarded Mrs. Jackson and all radio station finalists a commemorative Stellar Awards Jacket.

Neal Roberson, host Emcee for the event performed as did Nu Springs artist IMAGE, The Gospel Four from For Life Miracle Records and Canton Jones of Arrow Records. Hallelujah FM's morning personality Michael A. Davis commandeered the stage as each radio announcer present received a certificate thanking them for their year round efforts to deliver gospel music.

Other ceremony participants included, Bishop Sam Williams, CCP President Erma Gray Davis, Tonya from Chevy Malibu and Stellar Awards Executive Producer, Don Jackson.

"I thought this was a great tribute to gospel radio and announcers who often are the unsung heroes in the gospel industry," said Gospel artist Stephen Hurd.

Other artists who attended include Kathy Taylor Brown, 7 Sons of Soul, Carolyn Traylor, Tyrone Porter of The Christianaires and Terri McConnell.

Listed below are the 2008 winners in each market for the 2008 Stellar Radio Station of the Year

  • MAJOR MARKETS (2 Million Plus): WGRB 1390 AM Chicago, IL

  • LARGE MARKETS (1,000,001 - 2 Million): WXEZ 94.1 FM Norfolk, VA

  • MEDIUM MARKETS (500,001 - 1Million): WYLD 940 AM New Orleans, LA

  • SMALL MARKETS (1 - 500,000): WOAD 105.9 FM Ridgeland/ Jackson, MS

Congratulations to Cheryl Jackson (Program Director & On-Air Personality WPGC-AM/Heaven 1580), 2008 Stellar Awards' Gospel Announcer of The Year!

— recap by Donna Creer

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