CMT is announcing a progressive new programming plan that will give female artists equal air time with their male counterparts. The move comes on the heels of the controversial revelation by a Michigan country radio station that they have a policy which states that they can't play female artists back-to-back.
"Time is really up in 2020! All the talk around what can be done to support females in country music needs to transform into action, once and for all," said Leslie Fram, SVP of Music & Talent, CMT in a statement. "At CMT, we are stepping up our own commitments, in addition to our work through the CMT Next Women of Country franchise, and will be announcing a new initiative in the coming weeks that will spark this much-needed change in our industry."
The radio station in question, WKGC, tweeted last week, "We cannot play two females back to back. Not even Lady Antebellum or Little Big Town against another female. I applaud their courage."
Kelsea Ballerini got wind of the tweet and screencapped it then shared it with her own message.
"To all the ladies that bust their asses to have half the opportunities that men do, I'm really sorry that in 2020, after YEARS of conversation of equal play, there are still some companies that make their stations play by these rules. It's unfair and it's incredibly disappointing," she tweeted.
Ballerini went on to further share her frustrations in a longer Instagram post.
"I say this having been one of the few women who have been really embraced by country radio and having watched some of the bigger networks (and some of my friends that are [program directors] and high up) make real changes in their programming to make it look more balanced," Ballerini wrote. "I am grateful. BUT. there is still inequality in airplay for women. And tweets like this prove it. And it’s my job to say it out loud and post about it, because of the girls moving to Nashville ( or wherever) that are ready to outrun and outwork and outplay everyone."
"They deserve to know that they have the same shot as the guys moving here to do the same," she continued. "Country music- We have to fix this. For us and for them. How do we do it? Let’s talk. (Also- don’t lash out at this station, they are playing by rules set for them from their higher ups)."