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Country music channel offers more diversity

July 26, 2013 at 2:26 a.m.


Editor, the Advocate:

Lionel Ritchie's integration into country music is doing better than expected. On June 8 - ironically, the same day my last letter was published - cable channel Great American Country had him headlining an episode of GAC Nights. The network followed it up with yet another airing of the ACM "Lionel Ritchie and Friends" special that first aired on CBS last year. This illustrates that GAC cares about the diversity of the artists in the industry - unlike its chief rival, CMT, who seems to only want to spotlight white artists. However, there is a show currently placed on the channel - mainly because of E.R. Scripps insisting that GAC air Southern-tinged programming that does not involve country music, mostly by airing shows that originally aired on other Scripps-owned channels - that might actually drive away all of these black artists from the channel, and the show is "Paula's Home Cooking," which airs on GAC three hours each week - one hour Monday mornings and two hours Wednesday evenings, with the recent revelations regarding her use of the "N-word." Food Network already announced that they are dropping the show, and Wal-Mart also dropped Paula Deen. Sister channel the Cooking Channel is also slated to drop the show. All that's left is when (or if) GAC will follow their lead by not only removing PHC from their roster, but replacing it with some shows with African-American leads to further strengthen their African-American audience. If not, they risk driving away the black demographic that gave them an edge over rival CMT.

Just in: I have some good news. The good news is that GAC dropped "Paula's Home Cooking" from their line-up.

Jeremy Aron Patterson, Yoakum

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