Finalists for the 2011 CMA Broadcast Awards were announced this morning on the steps of the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Amongst those honored for their work on radio is Taste of Country writer Kevin Richards, who earned a nod for CMA Personality of the Year in the medium market. It's Richards fourth nomination in this category. He won the award in 2006. 

"I eat, sleep and breathe this stuff," Richards tells Taste of Country. His 10AM to 3PM radio show at WGNA in Albany, N.Y. is only a small part of what makes him so special. He says CMA judges look at a personality's biography, community service and ratings, and then listen to 10 minutes worth of show highlights. On-air, Richards enjoys artist interviews and listener interaction the most. He calls a daily Noon-2PM request and dedication show the highlight of his day.

"I like to draw out stories from listeners as to why they want certain songs," Richards says. When a listener requests something, the phone call doesn't end there. "I wanna know, 'Why is that song special to you, why does that move you?' And I love to hear the stories from the listeners about that because a lot of times I can relate to that."

During his 25 years on-air -- 16 with WGNA -- Richards has found creative ways to bring fresh energy to his show and career. He's weary of DJ burn-out and says the moment he begins to feel fatigue he'll focus on something new. A classic country show, listener cruises, concert promotion and hosting the biggest country dance and karaoke events in the Northeast are some of the other ways Richards fills his time. And, of course, writing for Taste of Country. Richards knowledge of classic country makes his lists particularly effective.

"The fact that I'm able to share my information with a bigger audience and it will always be there … I find that exciting," he says of his work with Taste of Country. "Because I'm sharing stuff that mainstream media will overlook."

The winners in each broadcast category will be announced during the November 9 telecast on ABC, but winners will find out a few weeks ahead of time.

2011 CMA Broadcast Award Nominees:

CMA Personality of the Year Finalists

Kix Brooks, 'American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks'
Derek Haskins and Sean Powell, 'Big D & Bubba Show'
Lia Knight, 'The Lia Show'

Major Market
Ben Campbell and Matt McAllister, 'Ben and Matt Show,' KNIX, Phoenix
Chuck Edwards and Linda Lee, 'Edwards & Lee,' WYCD, Detroit
Kelly Ford and Mark Newman, 'Kelly Ford & Rider,' KYFO, Denver
Laurie DeYoung, 'Laurie DeYoung Morning Show,' WPOC, Baltimore
Paul Schadt, Meg Mutterly and Geof Knight, 'Paul Schadt Morning Show,' WKKT, Charlotte

Large Market
Chris Carr, Jeffrey "Maverick" Bolen and Jason Statt, 'Chris Carr & Company,' WUBE, Cincinnati
Bill Cody, 'Coffee, Country and Cody,' WSM-AM, Nashville
Jeff Roper and Angie Ward, 'Jeff Roper in the Morning,' WTQR, Greensboro, N.C.
Jess Tyler, Bryan Phillips and Amanda Leonardo, 'Jess, Brian and Amanda,' WCTK, Providence, R.I.
Mike Wheless, Marty Young and Janie Carothers, 'Q Morning Crew,' WQDR, Raleigh, N.C.

Medium Market
Kevin Richards, 'Kevin Richards Show,' WGNA, Albany, N.Y.
Brian Pierce and Kelly Michaels, 'Mornings with Brian and Kellie,' KFDI, Wichita, Kan.
Tom O'Brien, Roger Todd and Melissa Moran, 'The 97 Country Breakfast Club,' WPCV, Lakeland, Fla.
Steve Lundy and Gina Melton, 'The Kat 103 Morning Show,' KXKT, Omaha, Neb.
Bill Ellis and Beth Bradley, 'Ellis and Bradley Morning Show,' WSSL, Greenville, S.C.

Small Market
Bill Barrett, Tim Fox and Tracy Berry, 'Barrett, Fox & Berry,' KKNU, Eugene, Ore.
Benny "Bearman" Martin, Ken Hicks and Daniel Wyatt, 'Bearman and Ken in the Morning,' WUSY, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Scotty Cox and Carissa Loethen, 'Scotty and Carissa in the Morning,' KCLR, Columbia, Mo
Eddie Foxx and Sharon Green, 'The Eddie Foxx Show,' WKSF, Asheville, N.C.
Brian Gary, Todd Harding and Susan Moore, 'The Good Morning Guys,' KUAD, Fort Collins, Colo.

CMA Radio Station of the Year

Major Market
KMLE, Phoenix, Ariz.
KNIX, Phoenix, Ariz.
WKKT, Charlotte, N.C.
WMZQ, Washington D.C.
WYCD, Detroit, Mich.

Large Market
KASE, Austin, Texas
KVET, Austin, Texas
WFMS, Indianapolis, Ind.
WQDR, Raleigh, N.C.
WUBE, Cincinnati, Ohio

Medium Market
KATM, Modesto-Stockton, Calif.
KFDI, Wichita, Neb.
KUZZ, Bakersfield, Calif.
WBBS, Syracuse, N.Y.
WYRK, Buffalo, N.Y.

Small Market
KCLR, Columbia, Mo.
KUAD, Fort Collins, Colo.
WKSF, Asheville, N.C.
WKXC, Augusta, Ga.
WUSY, Chattanooga, Tenn.