Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bad News Sure Travels Fast


Does country radio 'snub' artists when it chooses to play one song in place of another? Hardly. Each week, every music director chooses to play a handful of the best songs and decides NOT to play lots and lots of others.

Ask a professional in any field: part of the game is starting the very best team and leaving the others on the bench in the interest of winning the game. In radio, the best songs win.

I hated to see Billboard writer Ken Tucker try to imply that country radio somehow has a grudge against Faith Hill and of course the entertainment media is now passing it along as if it's a real 'story.'

It's ironic that this weekend's Country Radio Broadcasters' CRS promotional email is all about the investment that everyone involved makes in breaking new artists and music. Radio invests in each song it adds by giving it a few minutes of our listeners' valuable time.

On Billboard's online Faith Hill bio page today, there's a paid ad for Carrie Underwood. Hopefully, Faith doesn't see that as a snub too. There was no current quote from Faith or Tim, so I gather the allegation of a 'snub' by radio was by writer Tucker and not Faith Hill. It sounds like she knows that her decision to release 'challenging material' is the reason at radio for the poor chart history on the last few singles.

Any artist, writer, producer, label or promoter who takes all of this personally and starts to feel sorry for themself over the realities of this business is going to have a lot of company among their peers in Music City, but that's no way to build rapport with radio. All we want is one great song after another.
Do that, and we'll love you.

2 comments:

Tree.Paine@wbr.com said...

You know what is interesting?

Faith's "Hits" out sells Brooks & Dunn with only two new tracks on her record AND she was the third most added song last week.

The great thing is that if the fans request your songs you always win out. It is nice to know as a fan I still have a voice.

Ken Tucker said...

While I’m honored to be included in your blog, I must disagree with your assessment of what you think I’m implying in the story I wrote about Faith Hill. I believe that much of what you think I’m saying in the story is based on the Reuters headline you saw: “Country Radio Snubs Faith Hill.” I didn’t write that headline and neither did anyone at Billboard.

The headline on the story that appeared in Billboard this week is “Radio Roller Coaster,” which I also didn’t write, but which I think more accurately reflects the story I wrote, which is that after a strong start on the Billboard country airplay charts, Faith has experienced some “mixed success” in recent years.

Included in the original story is a graph that accurately reflects the fact that during the first seven or eight years of her career, Faith experienced pretty consistent success on the country airplay chart. In the last five years, as the graph reflects, she has had her ups and downs, hence the “Radio Roller Coaster” headline. Reuters did not pick up that graph.

I challenge you to read the story again and try to forget what a Reuters copy editor in who-knows-where decided the story is about. After re-reading the story, I think you’ll agree that nowhere do I say radio “snubbed” Faith. If you disagree, please tell me where I lay the blame on country radio for Faith’s track record on the charts.