Alan is the host and executive producer of CMT After MidNite, CMT Radio Live, CMT All Access. He is also the host of CMT Hot 20 Countdown, and he has been honored as “National On Air Personality of the Year.” Finally, Alan made the list as one of Nashville’s “Most Beautiful People.”
He realized early on in life that his calling was to someday become a media personality. “As a kid, I was always drawn to radio and TV. I loved how the DJs shared stories about music, and helped the audience discover new artists. I also loved TV weather, for some reason- indeed, I was/am a nerd. While most kids were video gaming, I was drawing poster board weather maps. I also played radio DJ in my room- a lot! I considered being a meteorologist, but fell in love first with radio. So, I was on air at 15 years old. Through a beautiful, thrilling, sometimes strange, twisting journey, I made it to my home now at CMT,” he said.
His proudest professional moments include winning several ACM awards, as well as other honors, all of which are rewarding. “Being named host of CMT’s music TV show, Hot 20 Countdown, was a definite game changer. I think also the smaller, less public moments are most rewarding. Working with so many good people makes me proud. After all, the team we’ve assembled in Nashville are like family to me. As well, when we hear back from someone on Twitter or Facebook or whatever that I made them smile, laugh, feel good — that’s real, and the absolute best I could hope for. Nothing like making a connection,” he said.
When asked which interviews that he has conducted are some of the most special to him, he responded, “Talking to Dolly [Parton] is always surreal, she is bigger than life. Literally, of course! I enjoy Keith Urban, who is very clever and fun. Luke Bryan is also a personal favorite because you never know where the conversation might go. I’ve interviewed several heroes over the years, from Rick Dees to Ryan Seacrest, and most recently, Larry King. Larry told me the best secret to conducting a great interview is to ‘listen.’ He said, ‘I never learned anything while I was talking.’ Kinda profound from The King.”
While he has been fortunate to have interviewed everybody in country music, he listed the “Queen of Pop,” Madonna as his dream female interview choice. “I feel Madonna would be tough and I’d enjoy the challenge,” he said. “Is Obama available soon? Interviewing a president would be a #lifegoal.”
Each day, he is motivated by his family, especially his kids. “My kids need to be fed,” he said. “Gosh, I’ve always been driven and ambitious, mostly to get things right and never allow myself to plateau in boredom. I also love the creative process of projects. It’s funny, someone asked me the other day if I got in this business to be famous, and I thought that was the most absurd thing. Fame was never an ambition. Broadcasting is a passion, so I just set out to be good at it. Still do, every day.”
Alan continued, “Fame and opportunities to be known by others come with it. Also, I’ve also being trying to enjoy the victories during the journey more often. Having fun doing a great job is the best motivation. It keeps you coming back for more.”
His advice for aspiring journalists, who wish to pursue radio, TV or print journalism, is to work hard. “There’s no elevator to the top, I just always assume I have to take the stairs. That means sweat, energy and time. What’s that thing about 10,000 hours to get great at something? I think that’s true. Keep pushing yourself, and working hard,” he underscored.
Alan concluded our interview by furnishing his definition of the word success. “A feeling of earnest accomplishment at the end of every day, but as much as I love my job, being a great father seems like a much important sign of success. Finding proper balance between all I’m juggling makes me feel successful,” he said.