Radio’s Top Country PD – CBS Radio’s Shelly Easton

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CBS Radio Philadelphia Market Manager David Yadgaroff told Radio Ink, “Shelly has earned an important place in the country music industry, similar to the level of respect of a top artist.” And we couldn’t agree more. Shelly Easton has been chosen as Radio Ink’s top Country Program Director for 2017. Easton has been a part of the radio industry since 1987 and at WXTU as PD since January 1, 2009. She’s been programming Country radio for two decades.

Easton says her biggest accomplishment over the past year has been putting a talented

Easton with Country Star Dierks Bently.
Easton with Country Star Dierks Bently.

group of caring professionals into the best positions possible to succeed. “If it’s not my greatest achievement it’s certainly what I love most about my job. Thanks to the efforts of our team, 2016 was a great year: We relaunched a morning show. We achieved our highest cume on the radio station in over a decade and we juggled roughly a thousand live station-produced events. The team makes it look easy, but I assure you it’s hard work.”

Yadgaroff adds, Shelly has led 92.5 WXTU in Philadelphia and built the XTU brand into a nationally-recognized leader in the Country format. The on-air product she creates is surpassed only by the leadership she displays inside CBS RADIO Philadelphia on a daily basis.”

Easton says there is no one thing that leads to a program director’s success. “Here’s a list of qualities that I feel help: Passion, drive, and determination. Loving music.   Creativity. The ability to multi-task and brand manage multiple platforms. Advocating for others. Anticipating cultural shifts and trends. Being open to change. Not giving up. Not making fear-based decisions. Caring about your product, your team, and your community.”

With WXTU one of the radio industry’s most successful Country radio stations, we

Shelly Easton and Jennifer Nettles
Shelly Easton and Jennifer Nettles

asked Easton to tell us how and when she knows a song is a hit. “I don’t know if a song will be a hit, but I always know what I like. Any person at any given time has their favorite song…I could say it’s in the hook or the melody or the lyrics…but it’s more. There are songs that just have ‘it.’ And there are songs where I have totally missed ‘it.’ I look at local streaming numbers as compared to chart position and take notice of songs with high streaming numbers because that’s the audience voting. Based upon my experience in the Northeast, I have an idea of what works in our region and will hopefully resonate with our local audience.”

Shelly’s commitment to the country music community has created relationships with artists and industry leaders that began as they entered the music scene. She embraces everyone she meets and as their careers develop, they are grateful for her partnership and collaboration. There is a deep bond and connection between her and the important players in country music, which is evident when artists come to the station’s studios or concerts. At the station, she looks at opportunities from a total station perspective and develops plans that help programming, marketing, and have revenue opportunities for sponsorship partners. This year, Shelly spearheaded station events that benefited the USO, Boys and Girls Clubs, and the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation.

Reach out to congratulate Shelly on being chosen radio’s top Country Program Director for 2017 [email protected]

And check out our entire 2017 Best Country PD list HERE.

Reach out to congratulate Shelly on being chosen radio’s top Country Program Director for 2017 [email protected]

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