Fairfax has axed its digital radio country music station The Buckle. The station was launched 4 years ago, in December 2009. See our report from back then.
The Buckle was a modern contemporary country music format, created specifically for capital city listeners. At the time Program Director Gary Hoffman described the format: “While many of today’s country music artists are amongst the biggest selling and most successful performers in the world, their music has been all but ignored by the major music stations in Australia.”
This week Hoffman announced the station closing in a memo, saying:
The Buckle is about to be shut down. Fairfax has decided to take their digital strategy in a different direction…
I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who has listened to The Buckle anytime over the past four years. I know many of you have been quite passionate about the station and virtually listened to nothing else since we launched on December 22nd 2009.
The Buckle has been a unique format to Australia, and I believe we have shown that contemporary country has much to offer (not least a bloody fantastic bunch of listeners). I know we have won over many people who have never listened to country music before, or have not been fans of the more “traditional” forms of country music.
I live in hope that another network will have the vision and fortitude to take the format on, although realistically, I think this unlikely.
Again, thank you, and best wishes to you all for Christmas and the new year.