CMT Promises Equal Video Airplay For Male and Female Artists

CMT is making headlines after the network announced plans to implement 50/50 video airplay for male and female artists on…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

January 21, 2020


6:12 pm

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Brandi Carlile, Leslie Fram and Tanya Tucker; Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

CMT is making headlines after the network announced plans to implement 50/50 video airplay for male and female artists on CMT and CMT Music channels, effective Tuesday (Jan. 21).

Females will now account for half of the video hours across CMT’s platforms, which according to a press release, is an increase from the previous 40/60 ratio.

“Time is really up in 2020! All the talk around what can be done to support females in country music needs to transform into action, once and for all,” said Leslie Fram, SVP of Music & Talent, CMT. “At CMT, we are stepping up our own commitments, in addition to our work through the CMT Next Women of Country franchise, and will be announcing a new initiative in the coming weeks that will spark this much-needed change in our industry.”

The news comes just after Fram appeared on TBS’ Full Frontal With Samantha Bee to comment on the inequality women in country music face on a daily basis. The head-turning piece also featured Brandi Carlile, Tanya Tucker, Margo Price and Mickey Guyton.

Just after the Full Frontal episode aired, Kelsea Ballerini and Kacey Musgraves took a stand for themselves and their peers when radio station located in Saginaw, Michigan claimed that they “cannot play two females back to back.”

Always one to speak her mind, Musgraves held nothing back in her response to the situation. “Smells like white male bullshit and why LONG ago I decided they cannot stop me. ✌?,” she wrote. “And yet, they can play 18 dudes who sound exactly the same back to back. Makes total sense.”

CMT’s new pledge is just one way the network is supporting female artists. Launched in 2013, the CMT Next Women of Country franchise has been a catalyst for many female country artists to be discovered. The franchise was extended to the CMT Next Women of Country Tour, which in 2020 features Tanya Tucker and CMT Next Women members Aubrie Sellers, Brandy Clark, Erin Enderlin, Hailey Whitters, Madison Kozak and Walker County.

CMT will unveil additional initiatives highlighting female artists in the coming weeks.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.