To Play or Not to Play the Dixie Chicks - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Brandi Hodges Reports

To Play or Not to Play the Dixie Chicks

May 23, 2006 -- Posted at 4:32 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- Three years after Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines apologized for saying she was ashamed that President Bush is from her home state of Texas, she's taking back that apology.

Now, many country radio listeners are saying they don't want to hear a peep from the chicks.

"It seems a little bit petty. You know, they got to speak their mind. They have a big audience to speak their mind to. They got to say their part, and I think its ok to move past it," said Kevin Box, Director of Operations at Clear Channel.

"I think it has a lot of folks in an uproar. I think they thought, ‘Well, three years ago you apologized, and now you take it back'. I think a lot of people are having trouble trying to decipher their feelings," said The Fox Program Director Christie Matthews.

Neither radio station, The Fox or KFIN, plan on playing the new Dixie Chicks song. In fact, they don't play any of the Dixie Chicks' songs.

"I've actually lost sleep over it, because we care so much about our listeners, and what they think about what we do. Anytime we can lose a listener, I find that very troublesome," said Matthews.

Both stations are doing on-line polls to see if their listeners want to hear from the Dixie Chicks.

"We will allow the listeners access to it. They can actually go to the website and hear the song if they like, and at that point, they can vote in our poll. We will use their best judgment to make our best judgment," said Box.

The new single from the group is currently the number one download. Representatives from both stations say the album will probably sell very well because of the controversy.

"This is America, and they are entitled to their opinions. As a radio station, you know, we service the needs of our listeners," said Box.

All in all, The Fox and KFIN will leave it up to their listeners.

"If our listeners say, ‘we don't want the Dixie Chicks', then we won't play the Dixie Chicks," said Box.

To take part in the poll at The Fox, log onto www.thefox1049.com.

To take part in the poll at KFIN, log onto www.kfin.com.

You can find the Dixie Chicks official site at www.dixiechicks.com.

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