Radio Formats And Racism

by John Hawkins | December 22, 2005 11:05 am

There are more than a few people in this country who focus so obsessively on race that they constantly see bigotry where it doesn’t exist. In fact, some people have gotten so ridiculous about it that there is even speculation that a radio station’s change of formats from R&B to country must be prompted by racial considerations. From an article at CBS4 called “Race Questions Raised After Radio Station Switch[1]:”

“A Denver radio station’s switch from R&B to country is drawing criticism from a Denver city councilwoman.

…On Tuesday afternoon, city councilwoman Elbra Wedgeworth went to CBS Radio of Denver to voice concerns.

“I’m not really comfortable (with the situation), but I think that the bigger picture is how we move forward and how we work with this station in the future,” said Wedgeworth, who said she’s concerned about the “constituencies that have lost their station.”

Don Howe of CBS Radio of Denver told Wedgeworth was ratings and not race that prompted the move away from the urban format.

“In the last few reports, (when consulting) Arbitron rating reports, it became even more clear that the format was really never gonna crack … the barriers that we needed it too,” Howe said. “The audience simply wasn’t there.

The station said it started the now-discarded format 6 years ago. The new country format is called “Willie.”

Radio stations that aren’t making money switch formats all the time. It’s not the least bit unusual. So, the idea that the people running this radio station, which had been playing R&B music for 6 years, just up and decided one day to switch formats because they had gotten tired of running music that appealed mostly to black Americans, is so ludicrous that it is hard to believe that anyone could think that was the case. That’s why Elbra Wedgeworth should quit worrying about “constituencies that have lost their station” and start worrying about real problems that are a bit more pressing than how much R&B music is on the airwaves in Denver.

  1. Race Questions Raised After Radio Station Switch:

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