[JPL] Announcing and Clocks

Blaise Lantana blaise.lantana at riomail.maricopa.edu
Thu Sep 18 20:42:05 EDT 2008

What Arturo mentioned about clocks is pretty standard fare as an alternative
to TOTAL control for a music director. Especially since software has made it
easy to access a category and pull up another artist or tune.  A clock with
categories is standard for structuring an hour of music in radio.  Although
people don't listen in hour sets, that is the usual game plan.  Like
baseball has 9 innings top and bottom, radio has hours with top and bottom,
but don't say that on air- *see pet peeves below.  

Starting the hour is usually a classic, with 2 or 3 vocals within an hour
and anywhere from 2 to 6 new releases an hour depending on your stations'
general philosophy about what jazz they are presenting. For example two very
different clocks would be BH Hudson's in Carolina and Nic Francis' in
Washington as they have totally different philosophies of jazz and radio.
There was a great presentation at the JPL Summit a few years back about
creating a music radio sandwich done by someone with years of experience in
commercial radio.  I'd like to hear that one again. 

It sounds like the announcers had a lot of leeway at kuvo which creates a
pretty inconsistent overall sound even if they were programming the whole
show from the MDs library picks.  Then when someone jumps in their car and
hits the button, something totally unexpected would be on their favorite
station, listeners like consistency with a little surprise, but not too far
off their comfort zone.  

I have been doing a clock and playlist at KJZZ for 15 years.  I create the
clock and categories and choose what goes into Selector, our music software,
to be played.  Although Selector prints out a structured show for the
announcer, they can change things within the category, or juggle things,
switch Diana Krall FROM this hour and Ella TO this hour from the next, or
use an entirely different vocalist.  This is especially handy if we want to
feature someone who was just in the news or on a show, or is performing in
Phoenix.  Plus there is so much music and so many areas of jazz, I really
appreciate the input of my knowledgeable announcers, especially as they keep
up with TV things and films.

One of the problems with this is reminding the announcers they NEED to stay
in the category, as over years they think they know everything.  While I
find many good jazz announcers can know a GREAT deal about the music, they
are not as well informed about what makes good broadcasting, so I still have
to play the bad guy.  

People are often resistant at first to new systems, especially since it may
mean more control but usually they find the categories and software helpful
after they get used to using it.  Some dinosaurs refuse to evolve at all,
(see announcers know everything above) but I believe every business has this

*But here is something totally unrelated.  I thought I'd add my pet
announcing peeve.
Ok, two, 
1.  "Top of the hour", NEVER SAY THAT, EVER!! It went out in 1850, ok maybe
if you are Irish, but I think that's "top o' the mornin'" 
2.  The royal "we", unless you have your dog on air with you. 

Ok, I'm better now,  MDs and PDs what is your pet peeve for announcing? 

Blaise Lantana
Music Director
KJZZ Phoenix

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