Changes to hoe­down re­sult in new lis­ten­ers for on­line show

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - BY STEVE SHAR­RATT

Un­wel­come changes to a leg­endary Char­lot­te­town ra­dio show this month helped gen­er­ate a flood of lis­ten­ers for a new kid on the block.

Home­grown At­lantic Hoo­te­nanny host Blair De­war of Bru­denell saw a big in­crease to his on­line coun­try show au­di­ence last week­end.

“We had over 5,000 hits on the show for Satur­day and Sun­day… that means we ba­si­cally dou­bled our au­di­ence,’’ said De­war, who hosts the hoo­te­nanny with An­drew Cross.

The on­line show takes re­quests and plays tunes that made CFCY’s Satur­day Night Hoe­down so at­trac­tive for over 50 years. But when the ra­dio sta­tion dropped the pop­u­lar for­mat and went to pre-pack­aged show for a few weeks it in­fu­ri­ated lis­ten­ers.

CFCY has since bowed to pres­sure and re­turned to the orig­i­nal for­mat, but not be­fore it gave fans of coun­try mu­sic an­other place to tune in.

“We picked up lots of new fans and even one of their for­mer spon­sors,’’ said De­war, who started his show out of his love for mu­sic.

CFCY hoe­down fans com­plained about the changes and called the new for­mat an au­to­mated farce, tak­ing away the per­sonal charm and in­ter­ac­tion.

“A lot of our lis­ten­ers told us that they were still fed up with CFCY and gave our show a try be­cause it was fresh and hosted by lo­cal peo­ple. Many of our lis­ten­ers also stated to us that they en­joyed the fact that they can lis­ten to our show any­time of the week be­cause our pod­cast is avail­able for stream­ing 24/7.”

De­war, who be­gan lis­ten­ing to the hoe­down as a young­ster, op­er­ates his coun­try show at 6 p.m. Satur­day at www.home­grow­nat­lantic.com. Sup­port­ers can like his Face­book page, Blair De­warHomegrown At­lantic.

De­war

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