“Billboard Country Update” Returns

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• July 29, 2009
Wade Jessen

Wade Jessen

What starts with three, drops to two after one disappears and then returns to three on August 10? Answer: Country Music’s weekly pdf chart digests from MusicRow, Aircheck and the about-to-arrive Billboard Country Update. Industry observers were saddened and perhaps shocked when R&R’s HotFax shuttered its doors a few months ago. Unlike MusicRow’s CountryBreakout chart, which carved its own niche focusing on secondary radio and industry coverage, some executives opined that Aircheck and HotFax both covered mostly the same radio news, had mainstream radio charts and therefore perhaps two similar reports was unnecessary. Others felt it was important to get different perspectives especially since MediaBase, which provides data to Aircheck, is a Clear Channel property.

According to Billboard’s Nashville Sr. Chart Manager Wade Jessen, the new Country Update addresses the above comments by forging a more unique balance between radio and industry. Update will publish on Monday evenings starting Aug. 10 and offer a raft of new information. In addition to BDS-based radio charts the new publication will include an A-Z song index of country titles and become the venue for Billboard’s Touring Country Box scores. Also featured will be the debut of a country digital download chart via SoundScan. Jessen promises some other exciting new features including a mashup chart which combines digital sales and radio listening audience. Ken Tucker will helm Editorial coverage of the new undertaking in addition to continuing his other freelance duties.

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David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. [email protected]

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