[JPL] Programming guidelines

Jackson, Bobby Bobby.Jackson at ideastream.org
Fri Sep 19 15:06:58 EDT 2008

I've been watching all of these posts concerning clocks and such.  Yes,
this is excellent dialogue.  Just from an organizational standpoint, I
think the use of clocks is very valuable.

-It creates a consistency in sound as far as the music is concerned from
shift host to shift host.
-It permits business such as news, PSA's, Promos, ID's to be scheduled
in an orderly manner.  
-It gives the audience a sense of where to expect all of these
components will take place within the structure of an hour without
taking away elements of musical surprise if the host is doing his job in
constructing music sets within the matrix.
-different clocks are tailored to accompany the time of day or day of
the week for that matter, while being mindful of what most people are
doing during any particular time and space.

Clocks should be designed in such a way not only to attract the most
people in the first quarter of any given hour but keep them listening
through the 2nd quarter hour, third and fourth quarter hours.  Listener
research has found that the first quarter hour at top of any given hour
is where you'll find the most people listening. It is therefore, the
most important quarter hour.  Host on-air appeals/back announcing should
be designed to keep people tuned in to "sweep" through the remaining
three quarter hours.  Front loading any hour with news is important,
because everyone is interested in news.  Having strong familiar songs in
the first quarter hour is important because there is a comfort level in
hearing them.  

I remember the experiment that WTBS television did some years back by
starting their hour of programming at 5 minutes after the hour instead
of at the top of the hour like all of the other networks.  They did that
because they figured if you didn't like what everyone else was offering,
you could always go to them and not miss what they were offering at the
top of their clock.  I'm not sure how that worked out for them but the
story serves as an illustration of how valuable the first quarter hour
of any clock is in terms of serving the audience.

This of course is programming 101 to many of you but I'm banking that
many reading this may not be aware of these ideas.  

I'll sit and watch the parade of thoughts.  If you have any questions
I'll be happy to answer them on or off the list.


Bobby Jackson   

-----Original Message-----
From: jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com
[mailto:jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com] On Behalf Of Doug Crane
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2008 2:15 PM
To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
Subject: Re: [JPL] Programming guidelines

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You might want to check out www.walrusresearch.com.  They publish lots
of studies about public radio.  Some concern fundraising, others music
programming but all related to growing the public radio audience.  

In 2004 they published a study called "Core Values of Jazz Formats"
dervied from a series of focus groups held in San Francisco, New
York/Baltimore, Atlanta and Los Angeles.  It's downloadable as a *.pdf
on their website.  Whether or not you agree with its findings or not it,
there's much to think about found within.  

Doug Crane
dcrane at comcast.net
KUVO Denver 89.3 FM
Wednesdays 7-9 PM  
-------------- Original message -------------- 
From: jctrane at gmail.com 

> I have found the recent discussion of programming strategies very 
> interesting reading. That is, programming an hour of music using 
> 'formulas' such as X number of vocals, X number of classic 
> tunes/artist, etc. My question to all: What are the BASES for 
> developing these guidelines? 
> Is there any controlled research out there concerning the 
> 'effectiveness' of these formulas in terms of increased listenership, 
> decreased program tune-out, or other measureable criteria? Or are 
> programming folks using their own sensitivities (as listeners) in 
> structuring music sets? Understand, i am not attempting to belittle 
> programmers' artistic sensibilities and in fact, use my own experience

> as a listener in structuring my show. Just wonderin'... 
> Gene Abkarian KRFC 

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