Jann Arden boycotts radio station for shortening songs

Jann Arden says AMP Calgary's new programming policy of playing shortened songs is insulting, and the pop singer is calling for listeners to tune out.

Canadian singer-songwriter launches campaign against Calgary's 90.3 AMP

Jann Arden is calling for a boycott of AMP Calgary on Twitter, saying the station's new format is 'unethical.'

Jann Arden woke up Friday morning with some fresh fighting words for Calgary radio station 90.3 AMP over its new policy of shortening the songs it plays on air.

The war of words started Thursday when the Calgary-born Juno-winning singer noticed the station's new format.

It essentially slashes Top 40 songs in half so the station can run 24 songs an hour instead of 12, and plays shorter commercial breaks, too. The idea — according to Steve Jones, VP of programming for AMP's parent company ​Newcap Radio — is to keep listeners engaged. 

Radio Station AMP Calgary has been playing shorter songs on air since last Friday. It says the reaction so far has been mixed but 'generally quite favourable.' (CBC)
"Certain listeners have said, 'You know, I don't want to hear the music like this.'... So we understand this isn't for everybody," he said.

"But overwhelmingly the listener reaction has been, 'I love hearing this much music.' I mean it's really cool you can listen to a radio station for 15 minutes and hear six or seven songs in that short period of time. So listener reaction has been generally quite favourable."

Arden's reaction, however, was decidedly less favourable: She launched into a tirade on Twitter:

Arden said Jones then directed all his stations to permanently drop her from their rotation — a threat the singer took in stride.

Newcap Radio describes itself as one of the country's "leading radio broadcasters with 95 licences across Canada" with a reach of millions of listeners.

It's not the first time Newcap's AMP Calgary has found itself at the centre of controversy.

The station came under fire last March for burning $5,000 in cash on air. It also offered breast implants as a prize for a promotional contest in 2011.


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