Program Your Best Songs Cushion Weak Elements

You know what your strongest songs are. Or at least you should. If you don’t, then the rest of this article doesn’t matter because you have an un-fixable TSL problem that clock management can’t possibly overcome. So we’ll continue, assuming you know the hits from the songs causing listeners to run away screaming.

Most programmers and music directors understand the importance of  balance in their music clocks. They know that spreading eras, tempos, textures, genres and categories through the hour provides a stable, dependable structure for the station. If you don’t already apply it you should check out the effective method of balancing your clock with the Spoke Theory of programming, insuring that a strong testing “power” is always between secondary songs.

But don’t stop there. It’s critical to cushion the impact of weak content with your strongest, most popular and most mass appeal songs. You’re probably thinking, “Yep, that’s why we always play a power coming out of a commercial break.”

But wait, there’s more. Don’t stop there. What about the other tune-out elements on your show? Like promos, or traffic reports, weather, or your contests? Or your personality content? This isn’t to suggest those things aren’t valuable. Anyone who pays any attention to the content on this site knows how we feel about that. In fact, you should consider any content that is outside of the listener’s primary reason for tuning in to be potentially weak content. And weak content must be strengthened by supporting it on each side. Protect this “weak” content just as you would secondary songs.

It also strengthens your brand because personalities will be more closely associated with your most popular, strongest songs.

This makes clock construction more complex, doesn’t it? Programmers don’t like complex, because it takes longer. But it’s important to get it right. Attention to these details can make a significant, though subtle impression.

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