I know when I was talking to Citadel about joining WCTO as it's first PD, I told the company I had no experience in Country radio. They said great! We want an entertainment focused, creatively imaged and fun radio station that just happens to play Country music. I know by 1997 a few PD's had crossed to Country like Dean Hallum and it wasn't an every day occurrence.
I remember talking to Rusty Walker and he said: "Do you know talent development, imaging, creative marketing and promotions" I answered "yes" and he said good you'll be fine. Top-40 programmers are more focused on the sound design of the Country Music Radio station. Most Country Music Radio programmers are experienced with the music issues and label ecosystem than the sound design or branding of the radio station. That's why there are dozens of Country Music Radio consultants who will do that for them.
2011 and here comes Mike Preston from Top-40 at KKWF, Byron Kennedy at KNCI, Mark Adams at KILT, John Sebastian at WWQM, Tosh at KNTY Sacramento and Mark Medina at KNIX. Anyone who can bring a broader view of success to a product should be welcomed with open arms.