Opry Entertainment Group appointed a new Grand Ole Opry GM from within the company's ranks and used the moment to restructure, creating a programming and artist relations division.
Sally Williams becomes Opry GM/senior vp of the new division, promoted from vp concerts and entertainment as well as Ryman Auditorium GM. Williams will oversee booking, programming and artist relations for the company's multiple properties, including the Opry, the Ryman and the Grand Ole Opry House, plus the company's forthcoming initiatives: the Opry City Stage, set to debut in New York this summer; Ole Red Tishomingo, planned for this fall in Oklahoma; and Ole Red Nashville, expected in 2018.
Ryman Hospitality chairman/CEO Colin Reed said in a press release that Williams is "uniquely qualified to lead this new division."
Williams has served as Ryman GM since 2008 and is currently chairman of the Country Music Association. The realignment comes following the January resignation of Opry vp/GM Pete Fisher, who moved to Los Angeles to become the Academy of Country Music's CEO. Fisher had spent more than 17 years in his Opry role, the longest tenure of any GM in the WSM-AM Nashville show's 91-year history.
Three additional employees are involved thus far in the realignment. Dan Rogers is promoted to director of marketing, communication and artist initiatives from Opry senior marketing manager. Gina Keltner ascends to senior talent manager for the division after serving 17 years in that role for the Opry. Dolly Chandler was hired as Opry Entertainment Group talent buyer from City Winery, where she was artistic director. Additional staff is expected.