Is Radio Runnin’ Scared From Chris Brown? Not Really

Feb 11th, 2009 // 2 Comments

MTV News has a story on its Web site with the sensational headline “Chris Brown’s Songs, TV Appearances Yanked From Air.” In theory, this development makes some sense; when someone is facing felony charges for assault, the idea of hearing that person coming through your speakers singing a pop song might be somewhat unappealing. One station went so far as to issue a press release saying that it was removing Brown from its playlists immediately. But are others following suit?

Staff members at Cleveland Top 40 station WAKS told the Cleveland Plain Dealer said that the station was pulling Chris Brown off the station because of complaints from listeners.

“After the alleged incident the phones exploded,” Java Joel, evening host at “KISS FM” WAKS, said in a press release issued by Clear Channel. WAKS is owned by Clear Channel. “It’s all that people wanted to talk about. They were outraged at this alleged behavior and wondered why we were continuing to support his music. I agreed and immediately pulled all Chris Brown songs from my show until this thing shakes out in the legal system.”

KISS program director Bo Matthews said he decided to take Brown’s music off the station entirely. “It appears that Chris has made some poor choices, we are following the lead of our listeners, and we will not be supporting Chris Brown on 96.5 Kiss FM in Cleveland until the alleged situation gets resolved,” Matthews said.

According to radio airplay monitors, WAKS followed through on the promise, trickling down from Sunday’s nine spins to six Monday and three yesterday, the last coming at two in the morning. Still, it doesn’t seem like most stations are banning Brown’s music outright just yet. The mothballed gum jingle “Forever” is still Brown’s biggest song on radio, and while it has suffered some drop in airplay (225 Top 40 spins on Friday, 180 on Tuesday; 123 Rhythmic Top 40 spins on Friday, 99 yesterday) and other stations have claimed that Brown has been voted off the air, the playlist exile MTV alludes to (or that one might expect) isn’t immediate, nor is it widespread.

Chris Brown’s Songs, TV Appearances Yanked From Air [MTV]


  1. Al Shipley

    On Monday, I heard a lot of Chris Brown and Rihanna songs on the radio when the story was still really fresh (but CB was already clearly the bad guy in the story), and weirdly enough, I heard about twice as much of his songs as hers. Last night I even heard their newish collaboration “Bad Girl.” But I did hear one station kind of doing a call-in debate about whether to not play his songs, though I didn’t stay tuned in long enough to hear much feedback or if they came to any kind of conclusion.

    The only insurgent hit with Chris on it right now is T-Pain’s “Freeze,” which is pretty good, I’d kind of hate to see its momentum stalled by this ordeal. Since he doesn’t have a new solo single out right now, I think you’re really gonna wanna look at the recurrent charts for the next few weeks to see how much evergreens like “With You” and “No Air” start to drop off of pop stations, because I think urban radio is going to kind of feed off of and discuss this story a lot more, and maybe keep his music in the mix too as a result.

  2. Silverfuture

    They’d never do that to Kels.

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