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CMA head to leave

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 – The head of the Country Music Association, Tammy Genovese, is leaving her post.

Genovese was with the CMA for 23 years, the last 2 in its top post. AEG Live! Senior Vice President and recently elected CMA Board Chairman Steve Moore is expected to lead the CMA on an interim basis. Genovese left effective today.

Genovese told The Tennessean, "I've been looking at (resigning) for some time," Genovese said. "Twenty four years is a long time. I have put my heart and soul into that company. This is one of the most successful years we've had, and it just felt like a great time to take a break."

"I have two wonderful kids and one of them is a junior, and one of them is going into high school next year. I'm thinking I've worked their entire lives, and I want to be able to spend a little bit of time with them and do some fun things I haven't been able to do."

It was not stated whey Genovese left her job on the day it was announced.

"Genovese...has successfully overseen the organization's continued phenomenal growth and financial stability even as music genres across the nation have experienced a slump," the CMA said in a press release.

"We are extremely grateful to Tammy for the commitment and talent she has brought to our organization through the years," said Randy Goodman, Chairman of the CMA Board and President of Lyric Street Records. "Tammy has made a positive impact in our industry and we wish her the very best in her future endeavors. We thank her for her many contributions to CMA."

Under Genovese's leadership, the 2009 CMA Music Festival hit an all-time high attendance record despite a downturn in the economy and a general decline in festival attendance across the nation. The festival experienced a 7.2 percent increase over 2008 during the 4-day event. The recent 43rd Annual CMA Awards, which aired live on the ABC Television Network before a sold-out crowd at the Sommet Center in Downtown Nashville, was the most watched CMA Awards since 2005.

"Jo Walker-Meador and Ed Benson taught me that success is built on hard work, passion and integrity. I am honored to have worked with these two amazing people and many other great music and business community leaders," Genovese said. "I am happy to say I have successfully carried on Jo's and Ed's tradition, and I walk away after 24 years, both gratified and proud of my accomplishments. 2009's success speaks for itself. I am forever grateful to the great staff and their hard work, loyalty, and dedication. My team has been the best, and I know they will carry on CMA's tradition of excellence and integrity."

Benson , who served as CMA's Chief Strategic Officer from January 2006 to August 2008, as its Executive Director for 14 years, and as its Associate Executive Director for more than 12 years, noted: "The fact that the CMA has experienced such substantial growth during a time when many companies are shrinking or closing their doors is a testament to Tammy's tenacity and business savvy. Tammy and I worked closely together for over 20 years and I know she will be successful in whatever her next endeavor may be."

The board will engage a search firm to conduct a national search for a new executive director.

Genovese began her career at CMA in 1985 as Administrative Service Coordinator. She was promoted to Director of Administrative Services in 1990 and then Director of Operations in 1992. In 1999, she was promoted to Associate Executive Director. In 2006, she was named Chief Operating Officer and within a year was appointed CEO in 2007. In that role, Genovese directed her talents and energy on CMA's mission and long-term strategic imperatives and external business relationships. Genovese holds a masters degree in business administration, which she earned while advancing her career at CMA.

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