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Charlotte radio hosts land ACM Personality of the Year

When Paul Schadt, Meg Butterly and Geof Knight landed in Nashville for Schadt’s induction into the Country Radio Hall of Fame in March, their phones started buzzing with texts and emails, Knight said.

That was how the trio found out they had won On-Air Personality of the Year from the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in the major-market category.

Knight, who lives near Ballantyne, has produced and provided the third voice for the “Paul Schadt Morning Show” on WKKT-FM (“TheKat” 96.9) since 1997. Butterly joined as a co-host in September 2009; she lives in south Charlotte.

“For all music there is the Grammys and the American Music Awards  for country music there is the (Country Music Association) Awards and the ACM Awards,” Knight said.

The Schadt show reaches 12 counties and is consistently in the top three of morning radio shows, Knight said.

Along with the prestigious award, Schadt was inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame in 2014; he also won the 2010 Charlotte Music Awards for Country DJ of the Year. Butterly won the 2011 Charlotte Music Awards for Best Women in Radio, and Knight won a 2013 UNCC distinguished alumni award.

In 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, the “Paul Schadt Morning Show” was nominated for a CMA Award for Best Major Market Morning Show.

The three honorees all mention the word “fun” when they talk about their show – a good thing, since they have to go on each day at 5 a.m.

Knight is first to arrive at the station, between 4 a.m. and 4:15 a.m. every day.

“I run the controls during the show, so if it sounds bad, it’s all my fault,” said Knight.

Butterly said she loves her job as co-host. She quit radiology school a while back for a career in radio, and says her decision paid off.

“I get to laugh for five hours,” Butterly said. “It is something different every day, and because it is so fast-paced, it is never boring. We have fun but keep it “safe” enough for everyone in the family to listen to  while playing great country music.”

Schadt, who lives in Olde Sycamore in Mint Hill, has been in the radio business for more than 33 years.

“The show stands out because of its fun; we all get along so well – welcome-to-the-party atmosphere – and we’re lucky enough to play country music,” Schadt said.

Knight said, “Our brand of humor makes you think a little more. When we talk to your favorite stars from different walks of life, we don’t talk about your typical stuff. I think the stars appreciate it most of the time. They know they get to have fun and have a genuine conversation.”

Ardrey Crest resident and early childhood teacher assistant Carol Coggin has been listening to the show for more than 10 years.

“I’m a fan of the show because I enjoy their humor (and) selection of music, and their banter during their segments is very entertaining,” Coggin said. “I am glad they finally won. I’ve been to other large cities and listened to their morning shows, and Paul, Meg and Geof just seem more genuine.

“They really seem to connect with their listeners.”