The past week I have been focusing on how to build clocks for a station. A clock is pretty much what puts liners, commercials, and voice tracks in order in a music log. It has to be manually built with certain codes coded for certain actions. Wherever you want a song to play there is a code for that, wherever you want a liner to play (a liner is where you hear the stations name between songs) there is a code for that too. A program directors job is to program the radio station, so it is his/her job to build the clocks as well. Brian Waters who has been my main advisor through the internship builds clocks for his home station 103.7 Lite FM. This is all done through a system called music master. Music master is a programming system that schedules music and can also build clocks to be sent to NexGen, the heart of any radio station. When building clocks it is easiest to think of it as a shell for each day. Each clock is different for each day as well, especially if certain programming changes. Each clock is also different for each radio station.
For example, a clock for a regular Monday is different from a clock for Christmas day. This is because on Christmas you are playing Christmas liners and Christmas music, which you don’t do on any regular Monday. Once you have your shell it is easy to plug in codes to decide if you want liners or commercials at the top of the hour or if you just want music playing. For the radio stations at PMB most commercial breaks are around 20 minutes after, 30 minutes after, and 50 minutes after. So after learning about all this programming, Brian had me build a generic clock for a station. It wasn’t as complex as his clock but it was built with liners and commercials, and music. Clocks can get really complex and I look forward to learning more so I can one day build my own clock and have it run day to day on a radio station.