Radio Articles – A Curated List and Media Diary – Part 2

Radio Articles – A Curated List

Podcasts and digital streaming services get all the attention, but don’t count AM/FM radio out just yet. With two recent headline-grabbing issues – the lack of female artists being played on country radio and the mass layoffs of iHeartMedia’s on-air talent – the focus is on radio once again. These two issues touch on the heart of what radio is about: the programming. These five articles cover these topics in interesting and provocative ways. Hopefully this will bring more attention to a medium that still has a lot to offer the listening audience.

  • Gender Representation on Country Format Radio: A Study of Spins Across Dayparts (2002-2018)

By Jada E. Watson, in consultation with WOMAN Nashville, December 6, 2019

This 30-page research study analyzes the amount of female, male, and male-female ensembles (males and females in a group) artists played during certain times of the day. The resulting data show that male solo artists are played 75.5% of the time, versus 19.6% for female solo artists and 4.9% for male-female ensembles.

  • New Study Shows Staggering Imbalance of Gender Representation at Country Radio

By Annie Reuter, December 6, 2019

Just on the heels of the research study by Jada E. Watson, Billboard published an article that featured the data points from Watson’s analysis. This coverage helped to give Watson’s study the media attention that it deserves.

  • ‘Everybody’s in Revolt’: How One Radio Station Fought iHeartMedia Cuts — and Won

By Elias Leight, January 17, 2020

This Rolling Stone article covers the layoffs and subsequent rehiring of six on-air personalities at a Des Moines radio station, KXNO. Andy Fales and Keith Murphy, hosts of a sports radio show and not part of the layoffs, stayed off the air in protest to their colleagues losing their jobs. Fans and sponsors joined the protest, and the station hired back the six employees.

  • Inside Country Radio’s Hidden, Sexist Policies That Keep Female Artists Off the Air

by Drew Schwartz, January 17, 2020

This article from Vice is a comprehensive look at the issue of country radio not playing female artists in the same amount as male artists. Schwartz uses Jada E. Watson’s study as a source, along with covering the Twitter posts of female country artists and one by Michigan station KCQ DJ Barbara Sheltraw, which was later denounced by their program director as being meant as humorous.


“[There are two] unwritten rules when it comes to giving female artists airtime. The first: Women shouldn’t make up more than about 15 percent of your set. The second: You should never play two women back-to-back.”

  • Have Layoffs Done Collateral Damage to Radio?

by Fred Jacobs, February 4, 2020

This editorial by Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media Strategies, a media research and consulting firm, talks about the recent iHeartMedia layoffs and resulting media attention as being bad publicity for an industry already hitting a rough patch. Jacobs starts his piece explaining that radio must change to keep up with a changing media industry but finishes with a very heartfelt opinion on why radio stations need to keep their on-air personalities as a way to connect with listeners.

Media Diary – Part 2

My media usage this week is not very different from Part 1. I am still getting the bulk of my media on YouTube, as sort of a one-stop shopping site. This week was a revisit of the artist Nina Hagen, a German alternative artist who was on the fringe. At night I put on headphones and listen to an audiobook or meditation. My preference lately is classic Swedish crime thrillers from Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, whose Martin Beck series came out in the 60s. At work I am too busy for any media, and once I get home I am mostly reading textbooks or articles for class. Morning and afternoon commute times this week involved connecting my phone to the Bluetooth receiver and listening to Apple Music.

There are a lot of political issues happening now, but I prefer not to read articles or watch news stories about them because it can be upsetting, and I have little control over the outcome. Instead I am a headline surfer: I scan headlines to get a general idea of what is going on. In this way I found out about Trump being acquitted without reading the details. My goal after this class is to have enough information to find credible news sources and stay more current on important topics.