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"No room" on playlists a poor excuse

QUEBEC CITY - The relationship between the music industry and the radio industry is a pretty solid one, but record companies are getting pretty tired of hearing radio station music directors tell them there's no room for new Canadian artists.

During a panel session today, which was day one of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters annual convention, entitled "Notes from the front line, the radio/music partnership", BMG Music Canada president Lisa Zbitnew was generally appreciative of the efforts of the radio industry and what it does for artists.

She said there appeared to be much agreement in the executive suites on how best to co-operate, but sometimes the relationship breaks down on execution at the station level. "I'm tired of music directors who say 'well there's no room,'" for more Canadian music on the Canadian portion of the playlists, she explained. "If I hear that one more time, I'm going to shoot someone."

Music directors, she added, need to "be supportive and give respectful feedback on Canadian music."

"It's a bad excuse and it shouldn't be happening," added Standard Radio president and CEO Gary Slaight, another of the panel's members.

With few Canadian artists on major music magazine covers or appearing on American broadcast television, it's more difficult to develop Canadian artists so she needs better quality feedback from Canadian radio.

Zbitnew also expressed concern over the recent Bob, Jack and Dave phenomenon. Since these stations' format relies mostly on years-old music, and since they are growing in number, it is "the most difficult time right now," to find airplay for new artists. "We lost a lot of time on the air to place current music."

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