CMA award won by Paynesville native

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 9/16/97.

Paynesville native Jessica Kascht will be among the celebrities in the Nashville audience Wednesday, Sept. 24, to receive the ďBroadcast Personality of the Year AwardĒ with her on-air partner Gary Murphy from the Country Music Association (CMA). Vince Gill will be returning as the host for a record sixth year.

The winners of the 1997 CMA Broadcast awards were announced Aug. 20. ďThe judging process for the CMA broadcasting award makes them the most respected and coveted in the industry,Ē Ed Benson, CMA executive director, said in a news release. ďRadio is such an integral part of our industry, and we are proud to recognize the excellence these stations and personalities have exhibited.Ē

Murphy and Cash (on-air name) were competing among five other finalists in the major market category, which is comprised of the 25 largest markets in the nation. They were chosen by broadcast professionals based on air performance, ratings, community involvement, and entertainment value.

A 1982 graduate of Paynesville Area High School, she attended Brown Institute (now the National Broadcasting Institute) in Minneapolis. Her 12 years in radio have taken her to Indiana, South Carolina, Colorado, New York and now Washington, D.C. She grew up in Paynesville and started her radio career at a small station in the cornfields of Iowa.

Gary Murphy and Kascht teamed up in February of 1995 at WMZQ radio in Washington, D.C. In their first full ratingís period, the show went to number one in the extremely competitive position of ďMorning Drive in the Nationís Capitol.Ē They have also been recognized by the Washington radio community with nominations and awards at the annual March of Dimesí Achievement in Radio luncheon.

The daughter of Jim and Irma Kascht, Paynesville, Kascht lives in Washington, D.C. where she lives with her husband of seven years. In her spare time she golfs and runs. Her challenge for the summer is to train for the Marine Corps Marathon. Jessica will run with the Leukemia Society of America team in honor of a 26-year-old leukemia survivor.

ďWe were really proud of her when she told us the news of the award,Ē Irma Kascht, her mother, said.

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