CMA Chiefs on the Key to Putting on an Awards Show During a Pandemic: Testing, Testing, Testing

On Wednesday night (Nov. 11), the CMA Awards pulled off the first awards show during the pandemic to include a live audience. To be sure, it was limited to socially distanced nominated artists and performers, but it also marked the first time that the country music community had gathered in person since COVID-19 hit this spring.

The CMA Awards’ ambitious plans meant rigorous testing for the scaled-back crew (which still numbered 500) and artists. That led to a handful of artists— Lee Brice, Lady A, Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard and musician Jenee Fleenor— dropping out because they or members of their family tested positive.

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Like every awards show during the pandemic, the ABC show saw a ratings decline—down from 11.27 million viewers last year to 7.08 million … Read the rest