Country Music Industry And Fans Mourning Loss Of KZLA
August 21, 2006 at 5:41 AM (PT)
Not everyone is happy with the move that EMMIS made in switching KZLA (93.9)/LOS ANGELES out of Country last week (NET NEWS 8/17). In a front page story on SUNDAY (8/20) the LOS ANGELES TIMES article "The Reason KZLA Up And Left For Another Fan" gives some insight as to why KZLA-FM (93.9), self-billed as "America's most listened-to country station," is no longer Country after 25 years.
While Country music sales are flourishing, and LOS ANGELES is its biggest retail sales market for selling Country music, it's all about demography, available audience, and the dollars brought in. EMMIS RADIO President RICK CUMMINGS told the L.A. TIMES: "The LOS ANGELES radio market is basically 40% Hispanic, 11% Asian and 8% black, and country fans are about 98% Caucasian. My job is to attract as large an audience as possible. KZLA is now playing music that appeals to Hispanic adult women, and that will hopefully attract other suburban women of different ethnicities."
SONY BMG/NASHVILLE Chairman JOE GALANTE said, "We spent close to $1 million going down the ethnic road, but almost all the artists we found were just poseurs. Most Urban artists grew up listening to Urban music, and so that's what they play. We've all been looking for minority country musicians, but audiences haven't supported them."
For more on this complex story, just click here.