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Dickey Defends Company; Would Handle Chicks Matter Differently

Dickey Defends Company; Would Handle Chicks Matter Differently

Lew Dickey also told members of the Senate Commerce Committee (see story, above) that the “groundswell of negative reaction” by listeners to its country format stations after the Dixie Chicks comment was “unprecedented.”
That’s why Cumulus consulted with its program directors, who were looking for guidance on the matter, and after that, instituted a 30-day ban of Chicks airplay, he said. It was a business decision, he said.
He told Radio World Online that, facing the same decision now, after having been through this experience, he would leave such a decision to each station.
After the 30-day ban was lifted, he said one-third of Cumulus’ country stations chose to continue banning Chicks airplay because of continued negative reaction from listeners.
Speaking to reporters after a hearing on radio consolidation, NAB President/CEO Eddie Fritts said senators had misunderstood Dickey, but he’s “not worried,” since everyone knows local stations make local decisions.
NAB had no comment to a McCain quip during the hearing that the organization was a “subsidiary” of Clear Channel.