Ontario ‘Pure Country’ Station Vows to Play 50% Women

Pure Country 99 broadcasters draw attention to their campaign to play more female artists on country radio. (L-R) Trinette Atkinson, Chelsea Lacroix, Brittany Thompson, and MJ Camarena-Gorn. Submitted photo.

Brittany Thompson, Program Director of Pure Country 99 and 98.3 FLY FM in Kingston Ont, is trying something a little different: giving female country artists equal time on Pure Country 99.

“It’s a topic that’s been talked about in our industry for a very long time, every so often it resurfaces,” said Thompson. “There’s never been substantial action that’s taken.”

Just last week, a radio station in the US tweeted that they couldn’t play two female artists back to back, igniting strong responses from huge female country stars like Kacey Musgraves and Kelsea Ballerini, along with Jason Isbell and others. The station, based in Saginaw, Michigan, has since taken down the tweet.

“Being a radio program director, male artists usually do test better than female artists,” said Thompson. “Most stations base their playlists off this research. We’ve allowed male artists so much expose over such a long time. It feels like we’re in a cycle, and it’s not a reflection of the quality of the artist or the quantity of the music available. When you test anything, the more familiar you are with it, the more likely you’re going to start to like it. It doesn’t matter if we put out a million tests, we’re probably always going to see that there’s going to be higher numbers for men.”

Thompson and the station’s experiment will run for one week, playing an equal mix of female and male country artists between radio’s prime time, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We listen to new country songs every week,” said Thompson. “And we’ll hear a new great song from a female and wonder why it’s not getting any traction. So the conversation came around back to this idea. And at the end of this, we legitimately hope that we’ll get a great response and then that we can use this research.”

So far, since announcing the endeavour on social media, Thompson is encouraged by feedback from listeners.

Read more  HERE.


  1. I suppose I can attempt to understand the logic but personally I don’t quite understand the logic behind some of this .

    As an example, what if it turned out the Best 19 qualified Candidates for the 20 person PM Justin so called Gender Balanced Cabinet happened to be female? Does that mean PM Justin would reject 9 better qualified Women Candidates for 9 inferior Men to achieve that Gender Balance ?

    How absurd .

    Whatever happened to “Merit” ?

    What if Women Country Artists sold more Records, would we see the same thing ?

    Somehow Taylor Swift who I have never heard, Celine Dionne, Mariah Cari, and Dolly Parton were able to sell a few hundred records, could it be they possess talent ? Sorry, did not spell check .

  2. Wouldn’t be interesting if listeners opposed to this format would call into the station and request songs by male performers exclusively and repeatedly?


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