Saturday, August 19, 2006
KZLA-FM Will Dump Country Music - Los Angeles Times
It's already happened and lets add the #2 market in the U.S. to the list of no country music. New York is well known for not having a country station, and as of Thursday, L.A. doesn't either. How sad. The station, KZLA, that promotes themselves as "America's Most Listened To Country Station" is now heard by no one. They abruptly changed the format about 10:15am PST on Thursday. That's when the staff was notified of the change, the music changed and the DJ was told he was out of work. How sad.
Furthermore, the change of the station happened as Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were probably preparing to head to L.A. to begin their 3 night stay for all sold out performances of their Soul 2 Soul II Tour.
If you check the website for the station, you will see a notice that looks new advising visitors that country music will be available on their HD radio station and streamed online. You'll see the banner at top as mentioned, and even a "Country Bash" in October featuring Gretchen Wilson, REO Speedwagon, Phil Vassar, SHeDAISY, and Jamie O'Neal. So, here is a station that appears to be behind the music and in the matter of hours, isn't.
What's going on here. It just doesn't make any sense at all to me. I don't understand the corporate radio world. They don't understand what they are doing. Being in the top 20 of the #2 market... even though reports say the station's ratings have slipped. Don't blame the format for that totally. There so many other reasons for ratings to drop other than the format. It could be more listeners, such as myself, going to XM or Sirius, or many other factors could be apart of the issue.
I wish I had an answer to this question... Why do they think the area needs another pop/r&b/dance music station? Why would they want to reformat into a style of music they are going to have to compete for listeners rather than have the entire market with no competition for listeners? Just doesn't make sense to me.
Country music fans everywhere need to be involved. Country music radio is slipping away from commercial radio stations. It may be slow, but it is important that the listeners in all areas of the U.S. know they are listened to and important. If they don't get the message, you are going to see even more of this trend. It is also important that listeners in the L.A. listening area make their opinions heard, and loud.