Pioneering TV and radio producer Jim Owens dies at 84
ALL ACCESS extends its condolences to PREMIERE NETWORKS’ THE CROOK & CHASE COUNTDOWN co-host LORIANNE CROOK on the loss of her husband of nearly 40 years – and the show’s longtime Executive Producer – JIM OWENS. He died on FRIDAY MARCH 4 in FRANKLIN, TN at the age of 84. CROOK was by his side when he died.
OWENS, a member of the SOUTH CAROLINA and GEORGIA ENTERTAINMENT HALLS OF FAME, has had a long and distinguished career in television and radio production centered around country music. It all started with A CONCERT BEHIND PRISON WALLS in 1977, with JOHNNY CASH, LINDA RONSTADT and GUY CLARK. The following year, he created and launched the fan-voted MUSIC CITY NEWS COUNTRY AWARDS, which he would continue to produce and syndicate until 1990.
In 1983 he paired CROOK, an entertainment news correspondent, with TV and radio personality CHARLIE CHASE to host THIS WEEK IN COUNTRY MUSIC, inspired by ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT but focused solely on one musical genre. In 1985, fledgling cable channel TNN: THE NASHVILLE NETWORK partnered with OWENS’ company, JIM OWENS ENTERTAINMENT, to create original content. This partnership lasted 15 years, with OWENS creating and producing much of the network’s programming, including the first daily and weekly country music news shows, award shows, variety specials, music documentaries and lifestyle programs in the 80s and 90s.
In 1993, CROOK & CHASE took over from TNN’s long-running show NASHVILLE NOW, hosted by RALPH EMERY. The show was later broadcast nationally. OWENS went on to produce other shows including CLEBRITIES OFFSTAGE WITH LORIANNE CROOK, FUNNY BUSINESS WITH CHARLIE CHASE, as well as CELEBRITY KITCHEN for GAC.
In 2007, OWENS spearheaded the return of CROOK & CHASE to television, first on RFD and then in syndication until 2015. On radio, THE CROOK & CHASE COUNTDOWN has aired in syndication since 1989 on hundreds of stations nationwide.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in OWENS’ name for the COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM’s digital preservation efforts. Funeral arrangements are pending.
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