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.