I have been a regular listener of KLUV radio for about 20 years. It was the “Oldies” station back then, and could be counted on to provide plenty of songs from the 50’s and 60’s. Over the years it has changed its genre to Classic Hits, primarily playing music from the 70’s. All music that was popular when I was in high school and college. The Morning Show with Jody Dean for many years, was excruciating to endure as there were about 6 or 7 personalities in the studio. All they did was crack stupid jokes and then giggle incessantly. I found other music stations to listen to on my morning drive, though I still loved the music. Eventually, they reduced the team down to just 3 that became more bearable.
On a trip to Houston in November 2015, I was able to listen to KLUV for about the first 2 hours of the trip before loosing the signal. I became aware that most of the songs were performed by male artists and groups. I started becoming more aware over the next few months that this continued to be the case. Occasionally, I would pull up their playlist online at http://kluv.cbslocal.com/playlist/ to verify my suspicions. I was right! Over 90% of their playlist was by male artists! Now I’m not one to usually complain, but this started striking a nerve with me. The music was dull and repetitive and frankly, all sounded about the same.
So on February 23, 2016 I sent the following letter to Jay Cresswell, the program director at KLUV:
I have been a long time listener of your station. Over the past 4 months, I have become more and more aware that the music that your station plays is dominated by male artists. Looking at your playlist, only 2 songs since 2:30 this morning were performed by women. I also think the selection of songs has become much more repetitive and boring. The great sing-along songs have been replaced with too many dance-beat tunes, many with the same tempo. I realize that at 60 years of age, my opinion doesn’t count as much as it did when I was 50, which is sad. We are the demographic that still listens to live radio in the car!
Please take my words of concern into consideration.
Almost immediately, I received his response:
First of all, thanks for the e-mail. It’s great that you care enough to let us know how you feel.
We play the most popular songs by the most popular artists (60s, 70s, 80s). That is decided through extensive local research, conducted weekly (and one massive study done annually). In our research studies we stipulate that the balance of the participants is 50/50 female/male.
We’re just playing what is working for us, for now. That gradually changes over time.
Thanks again for your e-mail. It is important that we get feedback. I appreciate it.
So I left it that for 9 days. Today I wrote back to him this email:
Thank you for replying. I have tried listening to KLUV, not to see if there has been any change, but to try to enjoy the music of my youth. But I continue to be disturbed by the lack of female artists that are played on your station. Looking at your playlist since 2 am this morning, you have played 73 songs, with only 3 by females. That is barely 4%! I understand surveys, but don’t understand being bound by them. If you acknowledge that this is your intent, I will gladly move on to another station.Thank you again,Barb Nunn
Thanks again for responding.
Our intent is to run a successful business. For the last 3 months KLUV has been the #1 radio station in DFW. This has never happened before in our 32 year history.
I will be sorry if you move on.
Of course, I know it’s a business and the goal is to be #1 and make the most money. I get that! What now bothers me is that this is now their intent, not just an oversight. They are now afraid to play songs of female artists because their ratings will drop? Really? Are their preferred listeners now so dense that they will change the station if Linda Rondstadt, Whitney Houston or Gloria Gaynor comes on?
So I have moved on! I’m still listening to music from the 70s, but now it is the 1670s, 1770s and 1870s, all on WRR FM, Classical Radio. And I’m not suggesting that you make any changes if you listen to KLUV! You can do what you want. Just be aware of their choices since all they want to be is #1.
End of rant. Thank you for reading.
Barb Nunn – 2nd2Nunn Photography – Dallas, Texas