America’s number one country radio station KZLA changed formats on Thursday to beats and dance tunes. Advertisers are more interested in pleasing minorities. Rock and classical music are increasingly being replaced by formats such as pop, hip-hop and talk radio.
The Los Angeles radio market is basically 40% Hispanic, 11% Asian and 8% black, and country fans are about 98% Caucasian,” said Rick Cummings, a top executive at KZLA’s parent company, Emmis Communications Corp.
“I almost threw up, I was so upset,” said longtime KZLA listener and Mission Viejo resident Ruth Rogers, 53. “I think it’s racist. This is becoming a nation of minorities. I’m not going to turn on my radio anymore. Country music promotes patriotism and family values, and they’ve replaced it with something that just promotes money and hate.”
“This is a huge disappointment,” said Gary Borman, a manager representing country superstar Faith Hill, among other artists. “KZLA did a fantastic job building a country music community here, and our artists were proud to contribute to that. If radio executives can focus on urban and Latino listeners, why can’t they focus on white America? This seems like the arbitrary hand of corporate America at work.”
“Los Angeles is our No. 1 sales market in America,” said Bill Bennett, head of Warner Bros. Records Nashville. “If I were Sirius or XM Satellite Radio, I would see this as a major opportunity. We’ll survive. New York hasn’t had a country station in years, and Faith Hill and Tim McGraw still sold out Madison Square Garden. But it’s a real blow.”
This is why radio sucks. It’s never about the consumer, the listener. Its about big companies advertising. This is why people don’t buy new music. Losing another station to Urban? What about the other listeners who don’t want to shake their ass to a disco ball? I certainly don’t want to get jiggy with it. Let’s turn the bad news into good. This gives more reason for consumers to turn to satellite. Although satellite is not quite there yet, it’s better than terrestrial radio. Much better……………….