Disc jockeys on the two American Forces Network radio stations in Europe have the unenviable task of spinning tunes meant to appeal to everyone stationed overseas, and a recent survey showed how difficult that can be.

The survey, answered by 4,637 listeners, revealed respondents were divided almost equally on whether they would like to hear more or fewer country music crooners. Hip-hop artists also split them.

George Smith, director of AFN Europe, said the survey shows that, like in politics, sometimes what is least objectionable is best.

Only 21 percent of listeners said they wanted to hear less of the dominant music on AFN The Eagle, a mixture of tunes called "hot adult contemporary."

"It may not be your top music," he said. "But with most of our audience it’s reasonably popular."

To improve this, though, stations will now have more flexibility in programming, Smith said. For example, AFN Benelux, which serves NATO headquarters, will play a mix of music appealing to older listeners.

AFN Bavaria will play "edgier, more up-tempo music" for the younger listening audience of the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment and other combat units in the area, Smith said.

As a result of the survey, radio programming will undergo some changes starting in early May. Countdown shows are still a hit, and AFN Eagle will premiere a new one with the added twist that listeners will decide what tune takes the top spot by voting at the AFN Web site. The show is expected to premiere at 1 p.m. on Sundays in May.

Two shows are moving to new time slots: "Little Steven’s Underground Garage" has a new home Saturdays at 8 p.m. on the Power Network, and "American Country Countdown," which aired at 11 a.m. on Sundays, moves to 5 p.m.

It will continue to play on the Power Network as well.

People complained about poor reception, but Smith says there is little they can do to improve it because the host nation stations get priority and obtaining a new frequency can take about seven years.

Listeners are definitely tuning in, though, during their early morning drive, according to answers in the survey.

"It’s hard to — with just two over the air radio services — to meet the needs of the United States of America," Smith said. "In a major city you have some 30 different radio stations that you can choose from. It’s far more challenging with just two."

As for AFN television, the survey focused on locally produced shows such as the AFN Europe Report and the information spots that run in place of commercials.

Viewers panned the spots, but AFN said they must be run as part of the "command information" mission and some local spots have won service-wide awards.

New AFN programmingHere is a list of shows that are moving and their new time slots, which should start in early May. Favorites such as National Public Radio programming, Rush Limbaugh and Ed Schultz will remain at the same time.

Show; when it used to air; new time:

"Little Steven’s Underground Garage"; 4 p.m. Saturdays on The Eagle; 8 p.m. Saturdays on The Power Network

"American Country Countdown"; 11 a.m. Sundays on The Eagle; 5 p.m. Sundays on The Eagle

"Eagle Countdown" (new show); 1 p.m. Sundays

Z Rock 50; 5 p.m. Sundays; cancelled

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