Last month, EURweb reported that Cathy Hughes’ cable channel TV One was suing the BET Network, MTV and Music World Music for violating its exclusive rights to the Essence Music Festival.
Mathew Knowles’ Music World Music is listed in the lawsuit because his company brokered the deal for the Essence Music Festival broadcast with TV One. His company is being accused of re-issuing the content BET, MTV and BET’s Centric Network despite TV One’s four-year exclusivity agreement.
Last week, EURweb has learned that TV One’s sister company, Radio One, has pulled all of Knowles’ Music World songs and artists from their radio stations nationwide.
“All Radio One personnel were told to pull all Music World artists out of rotation immediately and indefinitely!
We were told that the mandate came straight from Ms. Hughes and that there would be ramifications for anyone playing or mentioning a Music World artist or song on air,” a Radio One employee, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, told us.
Meanwhile, several calls to Radio One’s Senior Vice President of Programming Content, Jay Stevens, for comment, were not returned.
Removing all of Music World’s songs and artists potentially creates a financial loss for Knowles, whose company primarily focuses on gospel music currently.
“Radio One owns at least 12 gospel stations across the country – that’s the majority. It’s hard for artists to sell CD’s without radio airplay! Right now Music World definitely isn’t getting any from Radio One,” the source explained.
Currently, Music World Gospel boasts a roster that includes Juanita Bynum, Trin-I-Tee 5:7, Brian Courtney Wilson, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Micah Stampley and BET’s “Sunday Best” winners Le’Andria Johnson and Amber Bullock. All of them have been removed from the Radio One programming system Selector, according to our source.
“Le’Andria Johnson’s song ‘Jesus” was in heavy rotation on Radio One stations one day and the next day she wasn’t getting any spins. New music by Trin-I-tee 5:7 and Micah Stampley, as well as recurring hits by Brian Courtney Wilson have been pulled as well,” the source added.
Even though EUR was told that Radio One has pulled music by Destiny’s Child and other previous songs released in conjunction with Music World; it has not directly impacted newer solo releases by Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams – all of whom had terminated their management and recording agreements with Music World prior to the lawsuit being filed.
Mathew Knowles speaks to EURweb about Radio One lawsuit
Music World Gospel Executive Mathew Knowles responded to EURweb about the current Radio One lawsuit last week by saying, “I leave that to attorneys to handle this part of it. I think for me and my 20 years in the music industry…whenever situations like this come, I look at them as opportunities, an opportunity that this has allowed for Music World Gospel to really understand better the landscape to build those relationships at radio with the other different affiliates, like Sheridan and Clear Channel and many others.”
In regard to the influence of all radio outlets, Knowles noted how stations on the AM dial are underestimated by record executives in gospel who fail to realize their reach for the gospel community.
“It’s allowed us to approach our business differently and it’s a great thing because the results have been overwhelming as we’ve approached our business differently instead of before,” he explained. “Ninety percent of all our artists radio promotions was done with Radio One. This (new approach) allows us to view that whole landscape differently … we’ve done all of our promotions differently. We’ve done all of our advertising differently. So it’s bit of an opportunity.”
As he looks ahead, Knowles is clear in his objective to rise above the issue with Radio One and make sure Music World Gospel is on track. The lawsuit and airplay ban seemingly has not affected him in the least as he views Radio One’s Cathy Hughes, of all people, as “a friend.”