Music 1 – The Most Efficient Tool In The Box

Being the old radio vet that I am, I still remember those articles that would appear about every 18 months or so in Radio & Records Magazine. One of the format columnists would do a survey with their reporting stations with questions about their choice and use of music scheduling software. The stand-out question for me was; “How much time do you spend scheduling and editing the daily music log?” Time after time, ninety minutes was the usual average.

Then there were the articles from consultants and group program directors offering their sage advice with the pre-book checklist. The spring ratings sweep was at hand and here were things to do to be well prepared. One of those things always was: “The music director should spend at least two hours a day, editing the music schedule, going over it with a fine tooth comb. Check and double-check song rotations. Make sure the flow is just right every hour of the day.” Two Hours A Day they advised!

It took me less than two hours a week doing the job with my numbered stickers on the discs and carts and my rotation grids on paper. As many Music 1 users know, I designed this software to mimic that efficient pen-and-paper rotation system. I didn’t come up with it myself, I learned it from Paul Drew, who was my consultant at WAVZ, New Haven and who at the time was the National PD of the RKO chain, the greatest group of Top 40 radio stations that ever was or ever will be. KHJ, KFRC, CKLW, WRKO, WXLO, WHBQ, WAXY.

When I bought my Mac in ’84, I was soon working with a geek to take the system I’d learned off the paper and into the machine. The first and only music scheduler for the Mac was released in ’87 and that one gave birth to Music 1 seven years later. From the day it was released, I saw my users getting the daily task of scheduling and editing completed in less than a quarter hour.

Well, it’s been years since R&R went down and if any other trade papers have published such a survey, I’ve missed it. Wondering if the time spent working with the scheduler was still the same, I commissioned a survey six weeks ago. There was only one qualifier and one question. First, the respondents had to be using some other scheduler, not M1. Second, the question was: “Approximately how much time does it take you to schedule and edit each day’s music log?”

The average was just over an hour. The shortest time recorded was thirty minutes. The longest was ninety minutes. The majority reported between fourty-five and seventy-five minutes.

This made me happy because Music 1 people average under ten minutes at the task. I’ve told this to most everyone when they came aboard the M1 express: If it takes you more than that to get the job done and to get it done to your complete satisfaction, then get on the line with me and let’s take a look at things and we’ll make some adjustments.

I am regularly told how much people love Music 1. My mission is to help you make great radio while spending the least amount of time with it.

ps: The Music 1 site has a facelift. See it here.


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I am one of the pioneers of the Hot Country format that swept across radio in the late 80's. In the early 80’s, I began advising his clients to make two significant formatting moves: 1) Increase the tempo. 2) Play more Currents. What seemed radical at the time, immediately producing ratings winners. My report about the formatting tactics I was using "Repositioning Country Radio" was published in ‘91. It was purchased by more than 200 radio programmers and served as a basic game plan for the Hot Country movement. Today, most radio markets have at least one station positioning itself as “Hot” Country. However, I no longer advise using the slogan anymore. As the format continues to evolve rapidly, new strategies are needed to maintain market share. First announcing job in '64; first PD position at age 18. I served as PD, air talent and station manager in twelve diverse markets prior to starting my consulting business in 1981. At the end of the 90's, I began transitioning from consulting to full-time business development of my music scheduling software company. Conceived and developed the first for the Macintosh computer, introduced in 1987; and Music1™, the first scheduler for Windows, introduced in 1994. The Mac-based scheduler was retired in the early 90s. The innovative Music 1 scheduler is now installed in broadcast and webcast stations around the world. Author of The Programming Operations Manual, radio's only step by step "how to" programming and formatting guide. The $99 book has been purchased by over 3000 broadcasters in the U. S. and around the world. I've often written about the technical, strategic and philosophical aspects of radio programing. My articles have appeared in all major trade publications. Experienced in all standard radio research methodologies; focus group, one-on-one interviews, questionnaires, call-out, etc. From jingles to TV production, billboard and bumper sticker design, telemarketing to direct mail, I've been involved in every aspect of radio programming and marketing.