Could this work today?
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Thread: Could this work today?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Edmonds, Washington

    Could this work today?

    The discussion on the Seattle board about the automated formats of the 1970s got me thinking about this again. Several years ago, largely inspired by iHeart's Premium Choice format, I conceived the idea of a series of nationally distributed formats that would all require some form of local production and automation. If you were listening to the format's stream to get a sense of the format, all you'd hear imaging-wise is a couple quick inserts of the station name, and a slightly longer ID when the format is meant to go to commercial and at the top of the hour. Most of the transitions would intentionally be left open though for stations to insert local imaging or jock breaks where desired. The log would be generated at the national office and then sent to stations via the internet, where PDs then insert the local imaging and commercials where appropriate. The fully produced station should sound a lot like your average local station, examples would be KUUL in the Quad Cities, Kiss in Huntsville, or any other iHeart Media Premium Choice station with any local hosts. I am pretty sure iHeart does exactly this internally, but could this model be nationally syndicated to any random small market station? I am also curious as to why a fully staffed version of the iHeart Premium Choice model hasn't been tried in national syndication?

  2. #2
    It's been done for years. That's what the Westwood One "local" formats are. These are the former Waitt Radio Network formats, which were originally some outfit in Colorado that Waitt bought out.

    The music logs come from Westwood One, with the music already on the local station's hard drive. IDs, liners, etc are also on the local computer, fed by satellite from Westwood One. Each hour, generic voice tracks are sent out by satellite and automatically recorded by the control room computer. Certain hours, mostly daytime, specific local voice tracks are sent out to stations, 1 to 3 times an hour depending on how much they want to pay for. These are usually the local weather once an hour, and whatever the local station sends in for them to say.

    We've been using this since 2003, with at various times local AM and PM drive shows, and occasionally locally voice tracking.

  3. #3
    It's not really well publicized to the general public, but there are lots of automated formats being offered to stations that are looking for outside "white label" programming. SkyView, which syndicates ABC Radio and CBS News, has entered that business. There's a new company called Synchonicity that is offering hosted radio formats to stations. They don't use reel to reel tapes anymore.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Knoxville, TN
    With Westwood One's Storq format, the jock is on duty and can turn around a custom break for you in 2 hours

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