1- Can you introduce yourself in a few words and explain us what's your job at CMT ?
I work as the Director of Convergence for CMT's Digital Media and Music group. I am part of the management team running CMT.com (one of the USA's most popular music destinations on any type on the web), CMT Mobile (CMT's foray into ringtones and streaming video on 3G video phones on several of the USA's most popular cellular telephone services), Shop.CMT.com (CMT's online e-commerce operation), and CMT/URGE (our soon to launch commercial download service similar to i-Tunes). Over the past six years since joining the company, we have worked change CMT from a television channel into a brand that lives on television, wireless, the web, and more and more communications platforms. In fact, CMT Films just completed filming our first theatrical release staring Toby Keith, Willie Nelson and others.

2- What's the aim of CMT.com ?

Regardless of the technology employed, CMT's goal is to be the authority on country music and to celebrate American stories with pride and passion. We strive to connect fans with the artists and music they love.

3- Who are your favorites artists? (country music or not)

In my line of work I am exposed to a constant stream of music...most of it country or something close. As I result I have a difficult time selecting favorites since I am usually listening with an audience segment in mind. Toby Keith's work makes me chuckle, Shania Twain's makes me smile, and Big & Rich's makes me exclaim "wow!". In my CD player you will usually find my all time favs...Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, or some strange New Age sound.

4- What do you think about country music evolution ?

Country Music has for many years been a beautiful tapestry containing two major threads: traditionalism and pop. We are now seeing more influence from the bluegrass side and from hip hop. The tapestry keeps growing and all the while picking up new strands as it continues to grow and evolve as an art form.

5- What do you think about americans artists performing in Europe and especially in France, as Hal Ketchum, David Lee Murphy, Marty Stuart,etc...Do you think it's a great oportunity for artists to come in Europe and try to have more fans, or do you think country music is for USA only ?

Of course artists should tour wherever they can. It is wonderful that the artists you mentioned have opportunities in Europe and elsewhere. In my view, country music is one of America's cultural exports which is beneficial for all who have an interest.

6- How we must work in France to promote country music correctly ? Give us pieces of advices...

I don't have the cultural background nor even language to be much help but from my point of view one needs to allow consumers to discover the music in their own manner. On CMT.com, for example, we continuously bring to market new artists, new music videos, new album listening parties, and more. This expanding content is presented as an ever growing menu. But yesterday's or yesteryear's content is also available with a click. As website publishers, we make daily suggestions to visitors but between browsing and searching, these consumers seek and find what is "good music" to them.

7- Can you imagine that people in the world, and especially in europe, and especially in France could listen country music...and appreciate it ?

Of course, Country Music is essentially storytelling that happens to be considerably less vulgar than many other American musical formats. Story telling is present in every culture...the process itself is one of the determinants of "culture". The more family-friendly nature of country music appeals to many who want to avoid the violence and sexual content so prevalent in other genres. Since the English language is so broadly used or understood, this musical form can find receptive ears everywhere.

8- What's your best memory about country music ?and the baddest ?

Best...the day CMT.com launched (as Country.com) 8 years ago. Worst...the day Johnny Cash died.

9- What's the relations between CMT.COM, CMT (country music television ), CMT radio, and CMT magazine (country music today ?). Are you working together, or separatly ?

As I mentioned previously all of the brand platforms you list are some the technologies upon which CMT (the brand) exists. Each is a part of CMT: Country Music Television which is a division of MTV Networks, which in turn is a part of publicly traded parent company, Viacom.

CMT Magazine was for several years a licensing arrangement with a third-party. That publication, though no longer working with CMT, continues as "Country Music Today" without any official connection to our company.

10- Why did you accept to participate to FACM web site (to send us each month your Artist of the month) ?

Easy, your site is wonderfully produced and one of the best country music sites in the world. Besides, with any place on the globe only a mouse click away, having friends like FACM is good business for CMT.

11- Some words for FACM and Country music fans in France ?

I'm coming back! My wife and I enjoyed a vacation in Europe this summer that included several days in and around Paris. We can't wait to return and to visit more of your nation. And when we do, you can bet that we will be seeking out live music performances of French artists performing country music.

Interview: Florent