Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) September 20, 2006
The west was won through tough men and women who took chances, fought hard, and never gave up. Today that spirit is very much alive and being brought back to life as Southern California country music lovers band together to get their country music back. Monday marked the start of the Red Ribbon "Save Country Music" campaign. Ribbons began to be distributed as fast as they could be made.
The Save Country Music Ribbon Campaign was launched in Los Angeles and Orange County as country music lovers started an awareness initiative with a powerful new ribbon campaign that promotes getting a new country music station in the their area. "This is a very poignant way to get the word out that we want our country music back. There is a huge devoted and passionate audience for this genre," states Countrykitten from Countryboards.com, organizer of the ribbon campaign.
"With the upcoming Country Bash concert, October 14th, you will see hundreds of people wearing ribbons," states Oliver. "We have been sending them out in bundles. We will also have them available at the concert itself. But if you want your own ribbon now, you can send a self-addressed, stamped envelop to "Save Country Music," Box #292, Burbank, CA, 91502.
A few short hours after KZLA FM flipped formats, a grassroots movement was started by KZLA listeners to get their country back. Within hours of the flip, a new website was started and information of who to contact regarding this change was posted. Thousands began to flood Emmis Communications with emails and calls telling the company they were not happy with the switch and vowed to keep fighting. And kept fighting they have.
Press releases, letter writing, and placing advertisements in Los Angeles and Nashville markets are just a few of the things the KZLA fans already have on the way. They have written numerous media outlets, spawning many articles in such papers as the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, the New York Times, and the Nashville Guide. Websites like Laradio.com and Vincedaniels.com have also provided information to their readership. And if that weren't enough, they are now targeting radio broadcast companies to consider changing existing formats or investing into a station in Los Angeles and help them with the switch. Finally, a petition to get country back has been circulating and is gaining momentum.
What many people in the radio industry did not realize, is the stronghold that KZLA and it fans had for the music they love. KZLA fans, who prefer to call themselves the KZLAnation, have banded together to let America know they want their country back and they are pleading with Nashville to help them. "
Countrykitten continues, "KZLA and it's air staff was a vital part of our community. They brought to us various charities that helped the homeless, deaf, cancer sufferers and more. Together we raised hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Plus KZLA brought artists out, creating tickets sales and jobs for many people in Los Angeles."
"We invite you to join in and wear a ribbon," states countrykitten. "The campaign is all about getting an entire genre of music back to Los Angeles and re-creating the country music family we had before, but this time bigger and better."
"We have the proof that Southern California market can easily support a country music station and even get it into the top ratings. Country music as a whole is on the up-swing, per Arbitron's own findings. It even appears that KZLA's Stations ratings went up just before they were taken off the air."
The listeners are definitely not alone. Press releases by ACM and CMA have clearly stated that they pledge to keep country alive in Southern California and openly offer assistance to any radio station considering a change in format. It is obvious to this writer that there is certainly a market that is hungry for Country in Los Angeles.
CMA has also given us numbers to prove country music is wanted and worth the investment in LA. "We are No.1 in the market for country sales YTD, with roughly 1.3 million units sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It was also the top market in 2005, with 2.1 million country albums sold." Also stated was that "although KZLA will be streamed via the internet and on HD2, these distribution vehicles won't afford country music the same sized audience it enjoyed via KZLA's over-the-air signal."
Los Angeles has been and can continue to be a vital market for Country music. "Country is certainly well represented in product sales there and it gets good concert stops," said Victor Sansone, chairman of the board of the Nashville-based Country Music Association. "That station's been country for a barrel of years. When you have that kind of equity, you don't think they're going to flip it. I don't get it." As quoted in the Associated Press.
Industry insiders have proclaimed that there are operators within Southern California who can easily profit from the revenue of a KZLA format even though they feel it is a smaller market. Fans have already been extremely outspoken about their dedication to any broadcasting company that decides to change an existing format or invest in another station and help them switch over.
The NY Times writer Jeff Leed recently stated "Paradoxically, Los Angeles consistently ranks as one of the top two markets for country album sales (it accounts for roughly 3 percent of all country sales so far this year) and plays host to the genre's biggest touring acts. Thursday marked the first night of a sold-out three-night stand by Mr. McGraw and Ms. Hill, country's power couple, at the Staples Center arena."
"We invite you to join in and wear a ribbon," states Ms. Oliver. "The campaign is all about getting an entire genre of music back to Los Angeles and re-creating the country music family we had before, but this time bigger and better."
"We have the proof that southern California market can easily support a country music station and even get it into the top ratings. Country music as a whole is on the up-swing, per Arbitron's own findings. It even appears that KZLA's Stations ratings went up just before they were taken off the air."
"It's not that we just need to hear country music, it is what Brian Douglas, Whitney Allen and Paul Freeman brought to the table. It is the personal, local touch they brought into our homes and lives that we are missing. Country music fans are a different breed. That is what I am missing. I am missing when Brian would do stupid trivia and get himself laughing because listeners calling in were missing he obvious clues he gives them," states devoted country listener Ethan Thomas of Huntington Beach.
Save Country Music Ribbon Campaign
Burbank, CA 91502
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