CMT announced on Tuesday that it will institute 50/50 gender parity for video airplay on both CMT and CMT Music channels, effective immediately. Women artists will now account for half of CMT’s total airplay, an increase from the previous 40/60 ratio between women and men.
Leslie Fram, CMT’s senior vice president of music and talent, appeared on a segment of Full Frontal With Samantha Bee last week to discuss gender inequity in the country music industry, particularly in both radio and video airplay.
“There are a lot of myths out there — myths that women don’t want to hear women on the radio, [or that] you can’t play two women in a row,” she told correspondents Sasheer Zamata and Amy Hoggart. “Believe it or not, radio is still king, so we’re training people not to hear female voices.”
Since 2000, there has been a 66 percent decline in songs by women artists on country radio, going down from about a third of radio airplay to a little over a tenth.
This month, CMT also launched a new radio initiative, CMT’s Next Women of Country: Artist of the Month. The on-air feature will allow CMT control of one spin per week for rising female country artists, with the goal of increasing the overall airplay for women.
In November, the network announced the 2020 class of its Next Women of Country campaign, an annual endeavor that aims to raise the profile of up-and-coming female artists.