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TNN: Every kind of country but music

Country Standard Time Editorial, September 1999

In the good old days of The Nashville Network (TNN), you used to be able to actually see country music on the boob tube.

Well, now it seems that the CBS-owned station likes everything but country. Turn it on in the morning, and they're always selling you something in consumer infomercial type shows.

And then there's the constant stream of TV reruns of good old country folks appearing in shows like "The Waltons," "Dallas" and "The Dukes of Hazzard."

If you're lucky you can catch Crook & Chase who sometimes talk about country, but never exactly in any great depth. They're unfortunately more interested in recipes than anything delving into the artist.

And so it goes throughout the day until evening when you get Gary Chapman and "Prime Time Country," which has musical guests, some chat and at least a host who knows the music. Latest word, however, is that Chapman will be cut back by one night to three per week in the fall with movies shown on Thursday nights.

But for a station that started with music as the primary focus, that is far from the case now. It's rather amazing how scant little country music there really is on the station.

Not surprising really given their previous devotion to hot country. When the line dancing fad went south, so apparently did the interest in having a country music network.

It's probably indicative of just how far the genre has fallen. Rest assured TNN would show videos and have more music if they felt they could make money that way instead of though stock car racing on the weekends and the aforementioned programming.

At least CMT shows far more country music with videos and more.

Of course, ultimately it's the country music fans who suffers the most from the changes at TNN because they lose another musical outlet.

TNN is a part of the problem without offering a musical solution.