Newswire: Country music consultant says it isn’t his fault women are tomatoes

From Guy Clark’s 1983 classic single “Homegrown Tomatoes” to Ricky Van Shelton’s final album, 2000’s Fried Green Tomatoes, country music has a rich, robust legacy of tomato-based metaphors. Keith Hill, a radio consultant, clumsily attempted to contribute to that legacy in his interview this week with a Nashville trade publication. Hill, who boasts 25 years’ experience helping country radio stations boost their ratings, told Country Aircheck stations lose listeners through poor music scheduling, a problem that’s easily fixed by playing fewer songs by female artists. Hill explained how to reach the optimal gender ratio using a saucy analogy:

If you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out. The reason is mainstream country radio generates more quarter hours from female listeners at the rate of 70 to 75 percent, and women like male artists. The expectation is we’re principally a male format with …

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