the big wheels at the networks started spinning
the verdict was that hee haw had to go
cause city slickers don’t believe in grinning
and who the heck needs jokes in kokomo?
they canceled all the singin’ and the pickin’
but the stubborn little donkey wouldn’t leave
and that little fella’s still alive and kickin’
and hee haw’s still laughing up its sleeve

A profit-mindful market-oriented approach is not guaranteed to be a representative one. This can can get particularly flavorful in the arena of culture.

Enter: the rural purge.

The “rural purge” of American television networks (in particular CBS) was a series of cancellations in the early 1970s of still-popular rural-themed shows with demographically skewed audiences, the majority of which occurred at the end of the 1970–71 television season.

From a linked NYT piece:

Mr. Wood, believing that the network’s future lay in riskier shows that appealed to a younger demographic, instructed Mr. Dann to cancel several shows that were popular with older viewers, notably “The Red Skelton Show” and “The Jackie Gleason Show,” as well as rural-themed shows like “Green Acres” and “Hee Haw.”
Mr. Dann chafed. “Just because the people who buy refrigerators are between 26 and 35 and live in Scarsdale, you should not beam your programming only at them,” he told New York magazine in 1970[.]

The needs of advertising lead to centering the most profitable demographics, never mind what might be more representative.

A sort of reverse process would later occur when Billboard stopped relying solely on fudged numbers:

MARK PHILLIPS: Virtually overnight the charts got a whole lot more accurate, and the effects were huge. Chart columnist Chris Molanphy says the music industry responded to the clearer picture of what was popular by promoting not just underappreciated artists, but whole genres.

CHRIS MOLANPHY: The two I would point to most particularly are country and hip-hop. The act that SoundScan arguably made was Garth Brooks.

[MUSIC UP AND UNDER] The very first week SoundScan came online, his then current album, No Fences, shot into the top 10. It’s widely perceived that the advent of truly accurate counting allowed the industry to perceive just how popular he was for the first time and promote him accordingly.

Once in a production-promotion context where genre-variety could be profitably exploited, it became useful again to mine ruralish aesthetics.

So… is that good? Is it better that every niche find its consumer? Is this more democratic?

This bit is just my own crotchety complaining, you understand, but… Country music, now accepted back into the corporate fold, often ends up different to my ears. Did we benefit from the microtargeting Eye of Sauron turning its maximizing gaze upon this culture? Even country as a whole was too imprecise, so now there are country subgenres now whose consumption must perfectly correlate with bloat-trucks, and others’ with NPR tote bags. Is this good?

Even pre-purge, the same themes:

Welk relied on fan letters to tell him who was popular and who was not. Often, performers who received a positive reaction were prominently featured on future shows, while those who did not meet muster with the audience saw their solo opportunities diminish and sometimes were eventually let go.