Originally created 09/25/98

Country radio team receives national award



Johnson and Johnson make their triumphant return to the airwaves this morning having captured top honors at the Country Music Association awards ceremony at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn.

Radio station WKXC-FM's (99.5) husband-and-wife team, Chuck and Debbie Johnson, won the association's award Wednesday for Broadcast Personality of the Year for Small Market.

"First off, we're real proud," said the station's operations manager, T. Gentry. "To be recognized by the CMA is pretty big. It's a pretty big deal."

The CMA Broadcast Awards, shown on CBS on Wednesday night, were judged by a panel of peer group experts. Entrants are judged on the basis of air checks (samplings of the show), ratings, community involvement and biographical information.

The Johnsons, who moved to Augusta from Texas, have been on the air at WKXC for two years, Mr. Gentry said.

Their show, heard daily from 5:30 to 10 a.m., is the No. 1 country music morning show in Augusta, according to Arbitron radio ratings, Mr. Gentry said.

The radio personalities attract audiences and earned the CMA accolade because they are informative and fun, Mr. Gentry said.

"Most of what they do is natural. Their show is just like they are in real life, cutting up and having fun," he said.

Founded in 1958, the Country Music Association was the first trade organization formed to promote a genre of music. More than 6,800 music industry professionals and companies from 43 countries are members. The organization serves as a promoter of country music, marketing it to advertisers, consumers and the media.

The Johnsons were on their way home late Thursday and could not be reached for comment.