Melinda Newman Receives The 2020 CMA Media Achievement Award

Newman Presented with Award During Video Interview with Country Superstars and
Co-Hosts of “The 54th Annual CMA Awards,” Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker


CMA awarded Melinda Newman, Billboard’s Executive Editor, West Coast and Nashville, with the 2020 CMA Media Achievement Award on Friday, Oct. 30. Newman was surprised with news of her award win during a video interview with Country superstars and co-hosts of “The 54th Annual CMA Awards,” Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker.

The CMA Media Achievement Award recognizes the outstanding achievements of print and internet journalists, columnists, authors, editors, television writers, producers and bookers and syndicated radio reporters in the media as they relate to Country Music. The award is voted on by publicist members of CMA.

“We are delighted to be presenting Melinda with this year’s Media Achievement Award,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “We can’t thank Melinda enough for her consistent, thoughtful coverage of the Country Music landscape over the years, which has been essential in furthering CMA’s mission of bringing Country Music to fans across the globe. We look forward to seeing Melinda back in Nashville soon so we can celebrate her achievement.”

“When I returned to Billboard three years ago, with editorial director Hannah Karp’s blessing, we actively aimed to strengthen our Country coverage,” says Newman. “Our mission has been to herald the artists and other creatives who make the music and the industry executives who ensure it gets out to the millions of fans, as well as chronicle the trends and issues facing the Country Music community. This award is wonderful recognition that we are on the right path. On a personal note, Country Music has provided an even greater refuge than ever before to help make these uncertain times bearable. For that I am very grateful.”

Newman has been one of the music industry’s most devoted and reliable voices for more than a decade. Before assuming her position as Billboard’s Executive Editor, West Coast and Nashville, Newman was considered one of the top entertainment and culture freelance writers, contributing to top tier outlets such as The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Rolling Stone Country, Country Weekly, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Parade, Entrepreneur, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, The Boot and Variety, among others.

“The 54th Annual CMA Awards,” Country Music’s Biggest Night™, will broadcast live from Nashville’s Music City Center Wednesday, Nov. 11 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on ABC.

Melinda Newman, 2020 Media Achievement Award recipient