Miranda Lambert has plenty of buzz heading into this week's Country Music Association Awards after grabbing a record-breaking nine nominations, but she's not the only contender to be recognized in multiple categories.
No, I'm not talking about Lady Antebellum or Blake Shelton. Not Dierks Bentley or the Zac Brown Band either. This is, after all, a column about radio. I think.
Siblings KVET 98.1 FM and KASE 100.7 FM, both owned by San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications, snagged a combined three noms this year. Both made the cut in the Large Market Station of the Year competition, and KVET's "Bucky & Bob: The Talk of Austin," airing weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., was among five hopefuls named in the Large Market Personality of the Year category.
Though neither Austin station won this time around — radio awards are handed out in advance — they have taken home trophies plenty of times in the past. They also regularly rank as two of the city's most popular stations. Those who work there say there are plenty of reasons the CMA nominations – and high ratings – keep on coming.
"We've always been one of the leaders in the industry," says KASE's Bob Pickett, who has been on Austin's airwaves for nearly three decades. "It's been cool to watch the rise of some of the artists we've played over the years. I remember having Taylor Swift here about four years ago, when almost nobody knew who she was."
Now, of course, Swift is huge. She's one of five big-as-Texas singers up for Female Vocalist of the Year honors on Wednesday night.
Just down the dial at KVET, "The Roadhouse" host Chris Mosser enjoys being able to give some on-air love to homegrown talent like Jesse Dayton and Scott H. Biram, weaving their songs into his nightly show.
"KVET is pretty unconventional for a country station," he says. "We've always embraced Austin's unique personality and catered to the Texas music crowd."
Tune in from 7 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday and you'll hear a little of everything: Kevin Fowler, Johnny Cash, Pat Green and Dwight Yoakam, just to name a few.
"We're trying to capture that ‘Keep Austin Weird' element," he says. "I want ‘The Roadhouse' to be a reliable place to discover new, quality stuff."
Variety's also the name of the game on "Bucky & Bob," KVET's morning show, where topics of discussion vary from the Texas Longhorns to politics to whatever else is on the minds of hosts Bucky Godbolt and Bob Cole.
"The show's definitely an Austin original," says producer Eric Raines, who also can be heard later in the day from 2 to 7 p.m. on KVET. "It's everything Austin, every day."
With 40 years in the radio business, Raines says Cole is able to regularly attract big-name guests, including former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Barack Obama hasn't phoned in just yet, but there's still plenty of time for that to happen.
"A lot of stations come and go in this market," Raines says. "KVET and KASE are both heritage stations and are here to stay. You think of Austin, you think of KVET and KASE."
Around the dial
The folks over at KUT are celebrating a record-breaking fall fundraiser. Listeners and area businesses offered up more than $900,000 during the NPR affiliate's pledge drive, which wrapped Oct. 27. Funds raised during the semi-annual event make up 86 percent of the station's operating budget, supporting news and music programming. ... Austin Hellenic Radio has joined the lineup on KVRX 91.7 FM. Airing Friday mornings from 5 to 7, the show focuses on Greek music and culture. Michael Nevradakis, a University of Texas graduate student, hosts.CMA Awards: Who will win?
Entertainer of the Year:Lady Antebellum Miranda Lambert Brad Paisley Keith Urban Zac Brown Band Chris Mosser's pick: Miranda Lambert Bob Pickett's pick: Brad Paisley Eric Raines' pick: Brad Paisley
Female Vocalist of the Year:Miranda Lambert Martina McBride Reba McEntire Taylor Swift Carrie Underwood Chris Mosser's pick: Miranda Lambert Bob Pickett's pick: Miranda Lambert or Taylor Swift Eric Raines' pick: Miranda Lambert
Male Vocalist of the Year:Dierks Bentley Brad Paisley Blake Shelton George Strait Keith Urban Chris Mosser's pick: George Strait Bob Pickett's pick: Brad Paisley or George Strait Eric Raines' pick: Brad Paisley
New Artist of the Year:Luke Bryan Easton Corbin Jerrod Niemann Chris Young Zac Brown Band Chris Mosser's pick: Zac Brown Band Bob Pickett's pick: Easton Corbin or Zac Brown Band Eric Raines' pick: Zac Brown Band
Album of the Year:‘Need You Now,' Lady Antebellum ‘Play On,' Carrie Underwood ‘Revolution,' Miranda Lambert ‘Twang,' George Strait ‘Up On the Ridge,' Dierks Bentley Chris Mosser's pick: Miranda Lambert Bob Pickett's pick: Miranda Lambert Eric Raines' pick: Miranda Lambert