The Country Music Association awards Jack Ryan, host of the WIVK night show, with prominent “Broadcast Personality of the Year” award.
Jack Ryan, 1997 Broadcasting graduate, received the phone call of his life the evening of Oct. 13, from country music star Jamey Johnson. Johnson was in downtown Nashville when he called WIVK to tell Ryan that he had just been chosen as medium market personality of the year. Ryan has been nominated for this award every year since 2005, and “the certificates of nomination look OK on the refrigerator, but the trophy is what you really want,” says Ryan.
Each year the Country Music Association recognizes radio personality award winners on its televised award’s show broadcast nationally. The CMA Broadcast Awards are among the most prestigious awards in the field of Country Radio. The judging process involves more than 40 distinguished broadcasting professionals, who represent all market sizes and regions of the U.S.
Ryan is very appreciative of the connections his professors provided in securing internships. “It was very beneficial to be in a school that had such great connections and relationships with local media because it made it possible to get in to radio and television stations for internships and to gain experience,” Ryan stated. “I was fortunate that I knew I wanted to do radio, and with Dr. Sam Swan’s help I was able to get in the door to talk with program directors.”
He also credits much of his success to the experience he gained while working for the University’s student-run radio station. “WUTK was a valuable resource as we were able to get on the air and practice with no worries of losing a job because we screwed up. And I screwed up a lot.”
Offering advice to current and future students, Ryan stated, “the more experience the better. The tools are definitely available. If students want experience, even early in their college careers, the doors can be easily opened for them to give it a shot. Radio and TV stations want people who are ready to hit the floor running; the University of Tennessee is the best way to train people for the marathon.”