RAC Clark, the executive producer of the CBS broadcast, has been named interim executive director, effective immediately.
No reason was given for the change at the top of the L.A.-based org in a press release, which said “it has been decided” that Fisher would step down from his duties, and that he planned to “pursue new opportunities.”
As recently as May 8, Fisher joined “Songland’s” Shane McAnally in hosting an ACM-sponsored night for songwriters and music and TV industry heavies at No Name in Hollywood. There, he expressed the desire to put on many such invitational L.A. events to come, suggesting that nothing seemed amiss at the time.
The talent lineup for this year’s ACMs telecast April 7 was well received by the country music establishment, journalists and other industry observers, with some even saying it was the Academy’s best show since their 50th anniversary telecast in 2015. Nonetheless, ratings were down 24 percent from the previous year.
“Following many years on the ACM Board, it’s been an honor to serve the Academy in the role of CEO,” Fisher said in a statement. “I’ve greatly enjoyed working with the Academy staff, officers and boards, and I look forward to continuing to support the good work of the ACM and [charitable arm] ACM Lifting Lives. Proud of what we have accomplished, I look forward to what the future holds.”
Said Clark (son of Dick Clark, one of the founders of the ACM telecast), “My work with the ACM over the years has included some of my most professionally fulfilling projects. I look forward to stepping into this interim role and supporting the legacy of the Academy.” Clark has produced the ACMs broadcast since 1999.
Prior to joining the Academy of Country Music in January 2017, Fisher had one of the longest-running top gigs in Nashville, having been at the helm of the Grand Ole Opry for 17 years.