The Brag Media
News March 7, 2019

Aussie radio stations split on ditching Jackson catalogue

Former Assistant Editor
Aussie radio stations split on ditching Jackson catalogue

smoothfm is the first radio network in Australia to confirm it has stopped playing the music of Michael Jackson.

It follows several overseas radio stations pulling the plug on Jackson’s music after the global airing of controversial HBO documentary Leaving Neverland.

As reported by Radio Today, multiple stations in Canada and New Zealand dropped the artist earlier this week.

NOVA Entertainment group PD Paul Jackson confirmed to TMN that smoothfm has ditched Jackson’s songs from its playlist.

“The decisions we make about the music we play on any of our stations are dependent on the relevance to the audience and the current context,” he said.

“In light of what is happening at the moment, smoothfm is not currently playing any Michael Jackson songs.”

TMN looked at AirCheck data for the last seven days (Feb 28 – Mar 7) and found that smooth spun Jackson’s songs 38 times, with the final play on Thursday, March 6 just before 6am.

Conversely, ARN’s Pure Gold Network has chosen not to ditch Jackson’s hits.

“Some radio stations and streaming services around the world are being asked if they plan on removing Michael Jackson’s music from their playlists, based on the allegations raised in ‘Leaving Neverland’,” said an ARN spokesperson.

“As always, ARN will continue to regularly review our playlists based on what audiences want to hear, as well as closely monitoring audience sentiment in relation to individual artists.”

An SCA spokesperson has also confirmed it intends to keep playing Jackson, a decision based on the fact there is no conviction.

“We take allegations of this nature very seriously. However, these remain allegations and therefore we currently intend to continue to play his music on occasion,” an SCA spokesperson said.

It’s not the first time that radio has reacted to allegations of sexual misconduct through the removal of an artist’s catalogue.

Several radio stations in the US and Europe have recently banned the music of R. Kelly, who has been accused of sexual misconduct on several occasions since 2000.

In addition, the music of Ryan Adams was pulled from several stations in the US last months after allegations of emotional abuse and misconduct came to light.

Leaving Neverland details the abuse allegations of two men, who’d previously told authorities that Jackson hadn’t molested them.

The documentary airs in Australia on Friday night on Network Ten.


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