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August 4, 2022 9:38 am  #31

Re: Automation Glitches Strike Two Major Stations On The Holiday Monday

mace wrote:

kevjo wrote:

Paul Jeffries wrote:

I remember the first time I heard a station go from a music set to a station ID to a commercial set. It was back in the late 1990's. My initial reaction was, "Did the DJ call in sick and they weren't able to find somebody to fill in the shift?" Later I would learn that would become the norm for many stations from then on.

Actually, I oftentimes hear stations go from a music set right into a commercial block without an ID, and I think that sounds awful.

I'm not completely sure of the exact ins and outs behind the thinking, but this has become the norm , particularly for the corporately-owned music stations. The practice of having an announcer do a talk break followed by several minutes of commercials proved to be too much for the average listener to sit through. So now they spread it out. At one time it was considered a cardinal sin to stop down, talk a bit then restart the music. It's now the rule. Announcers get to show a little bit of personality, the music flow goes on and now they never talk immediately before or immediately following a commercial break. This creates the perception in the listener's mind that there are fewer interruptions. It must work because it's been template for a lot of stations for quite a few years now.
As an aside, the one thing I have noticed is the personalities are detached from the music they're playing. Often times they don't even acknowledge the tune they just played or are about to play. With some formats this may be okay but with stations that feature a lot of newer music there should be some sort of buzz created by the announcer. I still think that would give radio stations an edge over Spotify but maybe I'm just from another planet :-))

The fact that jocks rarely acknowledge the song and artist playing is especially noticeable on Top 40 stations. Their targetted audience is already familiar with the tunes being played so there is no need to identify them.

Oh yeah, I agree that in this day and age with modern radios identifying the song titles and artists as well as station websites displaying a "now playing/recently played" list, backselling has become somewhat unnecessary. What irks me is when a station goes out of a music set straight into a commercial without so much as a station ID. I've accepted that to be the norm too, but to me that sounds odd, although it might just be my own personal preference.

PJ place where all the cool tunes hang out!

August 4, 2022 12:04 pm  #32

Re: Automation Glitches Strike Two Major Stations On The Holiday Monday

One of the reasons you don't hear the announcer saying much if anything about the artist or song is voice tracking.  Too many hassles if the song and what the jock says don't match up.  If the show is live, no problem and you will likely hear more announcer breaks and even the host talking over the odd intro. 

Also those voice track breaks could also be played on another station in the chain, and the music doesn't always match up.  So better not to talk about the music or artists, or be very generic.  Pretty odd for so many stations that are always hyping that they play the best or the most music!

Imported morning shows also have the same deal.  The hosts always sound disconnected from the music they are playing, since they never refer to what has just been played.  That because in Seattle, Orlando, LA, NY or any other station most stations are playing their own music, so they can  customize the sound somewhat.  

I am with Paul J and a few others, I hate stations that go from a song and right into commercials with no announcer break.  Sounds bush league and cheap.  That's why radio is not connecting with listeners. No personality, few announcer breaks and doing less and less.  All this gives fewer reasons for people to listen.  There are always those who say that it doesn't matter. The ratings prove otherwise.  This is why BOOM, CHFI, Q, even Radio One do well in the ratings.  Usually live with announcers who actually talk, even about the music! 


August 4, 2022 12:39 pm  #33

Re: Automation Glitches Strike Two Major Stations On The Holiday Monday

paterson1 wrote:

I am with Paul J and a few others, I hate stations that go from a song and right into commercials with no announcer break.  Sounds bush league and cheap.

How on earth is it cheap?

I'm with you on the importance of personalities, but the positioning of talk breaks has nothing to do with it. As has been mentioned, a full break leading into or out of spots creates the longest stretch without music. A large portion of the audience is there for the music. Early PPM analyses showed significant tune-out at the start of announcer breaks. Probably not because the listener didn't like the personality, but because it was an indication the the music has stopped for a significant period.

Yes, some stations have used this as way to basically eliminate personality breaks (CHFI - where sometimes the entire break is just the call-letters) which is a problem, but one that is separate from the clock structure. 


August 4, 2022 9:00 pm  #34

Re: Automation Glitches Strike Two Major Stations On The Holiday Monday

Couple of things.  If the show is live with a live announcer, why would you try to make the program sound voice tracked?  That's what it sounds like going from a song directly into commercials.  Sort of like what community radio, or the evening show in Dryden would do. 

Yes the announcer coming on and talking usually indicates the music has ended.  Sort of like when the station just rolls into commercials? No imaging, no call letters and no personality doesn't cut it.  Always love when the first spot get buried by the song...make good....and sloppy programming. 

If your listeners can't seem to handle a 15-20 second extro from a music set and leave your station would not be the type of listener that most stations or advertisers would want anyway.  Advertisers don't necessarily want these bottom feeders since they will never hear their ads. Any listener that is only briefly tuned in for the music is also flipping all over the dial anyway or mostly listening to streamers. Better to have the audience and listeners who are loyal to your station.

These people tend to like the station and enjoy the personalities, contests, music, information and even commercials.  If you have this type of listener, you will have the advertisers, rather than inflated numbers that tune out during the first commercial or any talk.  

Last edited by paterson1 (August 4, 2022 9:04 pm)