Following a record-breaking year in 2020 — one that saw Gaither Music Group expanding its international brand and digital platforms at a record-setting pace — the company is pleased to move into 2021 with a series of staff promotions and new hires.
Long-time staff member Melissa Chambers has moved to Senior Director of Operations and Production. Chambers, who has been the key liaison for royalty accounting, the financial team and third-party distribution teams for multiple markets, will advance her role to oversee the ingestion of masters and metadata from all new acquisitions and partnerships into the digital marketplace. She will continue to lead the company’s production itinerary as well, working with producers, artists and the creative team in the development and delivery of music and packaging to Distribution.
Gaither Music has promoted industry veteran Celeste Winstead to Senior Director of Content and Marketing. Winstead has been an integral leader in the company’s artist promotions, marketing campaigns, consumer branding, media and industry communications and its recent expansion into the digital marketplace. She will continue to lead in these roles while helming Gaither brand partnerships, driving catalog strategy and directing digital promotions and content initiatives for the Gaither marketing division.
Hannah Franklin has been promoted to Digital Marketing Manager for the company. Building upon her background in digital sports marketing, Franklin has been with Gaither for over a year-and-a-half, during which time she has widely expanded the company’s social media audience, diversified content on its platforms and introduced new editorial and statistical strategies for the brand.
With a background in digital media, Ben Binner, who has been leading Gaither’s streaming and playlisting initiatives since 2019, has been named Digital Streaming Manager for the brand. His knowledge of the streaming landscape, background in digital copyright and implementation of a robust schedule of releases have been instrumental to the company’s record-setting expansion into the digital marketplace.
Joining the team as Director of Marketing is industry entrepreneur Meghann Wright. Wright’s leadership roles include Business and Operations Manager for Premier Studios New York, Artist and Label Development and Marketing and Project Management at Symphonic Distribution and Founder of GrindEthos Records. Experienced in the development of integrated marketing campaigns for country, pop, hip-hop and jazz artists, Wright will oversee strategic marketing initiatives and further develop company priorities Green Hill, Rural Rhythms and Club 44 in addition to future label acquisitions.
Adrienne Kelley, who has an extensive background in artist management and videography, has stepped into the role of Social Media Specialist at Gaither. She comes to the organization from APEX Entertainment Management, where she was the day-to-day manager for artists such as Dailey & Vincent and The Singing Contractors.
Skye Overstreet has joined Gaither as Digital Streaming Specialist. A Nashville native and Belmont alumnus, Overstreet previously worked at WME in both the fairs & festivals and publishing divisions and served as office coordinator and day-to-day manager for several artists on the roster at AMFM Management.
“The past two years have been filled with marketplace transition, catalog acquisition and brand expansion,” stated Paul Sizelove, president of Gaither Music Group, who was voted a Billboard Magazine Indie Power Player of the Year in 2020. “Our team has worked together to respond to an ever-changing music business landscape, creating new and exciting ways to take this music to the world. We are pleased to congratulate our team members who are the backbone of what we do as we celebrate tremendous growth; and we are excited to welcome these new team members who will help us achieve great things as we move forward.”
Gaither Music Group, in partnership with Primary Wave Music Publishing, began 2020 with a GRAMMY® win for Best Gospel Roots Album with Gloria Gaynor’s Testimony. The brand grew its YouTube channel significantly, garnering over 442 million views with an increase of over 500K subscribers in 2020. In addition, Gaither Music saw a 333% increase in total impressions across all social media platforms last year.
The brand launched Bill Gaither’s More Than the Music podcast, began a partnership with Game Show Network, debuted Gaither Radio on Pandora, launched Piano Talk LIVE on its social media platforms and rebranded the GaitherTV SVOD platform. The company premiered an inspirational product line with StoriArts, launched Gaither Radio on Amazon and began a strategic partnership with Circle TV.
Gaither’s Green Hill Productions signed the music catalog of Jim Brickman, saw a record-breaking year on the digital streaming platforms, expanded its social media presence, acquired the Rural Rhythm catalog and inked a recording deal with international icon Olivia Newton-John.
The company is poised for another strong year ahead. With artist roster growth and new releases scheduled with Rory Feek, the Gaither Vocal Band and Dennis Quaid, the Gaither Music platforms are set to expand exponentially.
About Gaither Music Group
One of the largest independent Christian music companies in the world and a household name for millions of fans, Gaither Music Group, in partnership with Primary Wave Music Publishing, is known worldwide for its award-winning and top-selling recordings, including the Gaither Gospel Series, of which 133 products have been certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum. These recordings, which encompass more than 177 video copyrights, showcase gospel music pioneers; many of the finest performers in the gospel and country genres; up-and-coming acts; and country artists including The Oak Ridge Boys, Jimmy Fortune, Joey+Rory, Alabama, Alan Jackson, The Statler Brothers, George Jones, Vince Gill, Josh Turner, Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Isaacs and others. The brand has partnered with Sandi Patty, Gloria Gaynor, Steven Curtis Chapman and a host of acclaimed talents from various fields of music. Gaither Music Group has garnered sales of more than 40 million DVDs and CDs, including such PBS stalwarts as Billy Graham: God’s Ambassador, the only authorized video autobiography of Reverend Billy Graham; The Gospel Music of Johnny Cash; and three Elvis Presley projects, including He Touched Me and The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley, in conjunction with the Elvis Presley Estate. The company developed a partnership with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® in 2008; and its alliances with Capitol Christian Music Group, Universal Music Group and Time Life Music remain bedrocks for the company.