CMT (an initialism for Country Music Television) has announced that it will institute a 50/50 gender parity policy for all videos on the CMT and CMT Music channels respectively, which will be implemented immediately. This new parity is an increase from the previous 40/60 ratio between women and men that has been broadcasted by the network.
This new parity was announced by CMT’s senior vice president of music and talent Leslie Fram, who discussed gender inequity in the country music industry on a recent segment of Full Frontal With Samantha Bee. Fram discussed how the radio industry is a big factor in the lack of female voices within the country music industry.
According to Rolling Stone, there has been a 66 percent decline in songs by female artists on country radio, which went down to about a third of radio airplay to a little over a tenth. Fram explained that these types of policies train “people not to hear female voices,” on country radio.
“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,” Fram elaborated. “Believe it or not, radio is still king, so we’re training people not to hear female voices.”
The network is also planning on promoting women in the country music industry through their radio initiative, CMT’s Next Women of Country: Artist of the Month. This initiative will allow CMT to have control over one radio broadcast a week which will highlight rising female country artists.