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MusicMaster Blog

Summer Holiday Scheduling posted on August 4th, 2014

By Jesus Rodriguez

You may already have a holiday grid ready to go for the winter break. You may possibly even have clocks that flip your station to an all Christmas channel 24/7. Those concepts are great tools to have so that you’re prepared for the holiday season every year.

What about all the other holidays? You know the governmental holidays that only last one-day like Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, etc. Sure most of these holidays land on an extended weekend so you’re probably thinking as most do that your weekend up-tempo clocks will keep the station sounding fresh and hip while your listener is at the lake cooking out.

What about Monday? You know the day the actual holiday falls on; the day that everyone is actually at the lake. Don’t forget 4th of July doesn’t always land on the weekend but randomly in the middle of the business week at times.

Recently I had a client call me on the Tuesday after Memorial Day asking if I could help him restore his back up from Friday. Apparently he couldn’t remember which clocks needed to go where on his assignment grid after he reassigned clocks from nights and the weekends for Memorial Day. He was trying to make sure that Memorial Day Monday didn’t sound like his normal programming. His station is a CHR but leans more adult during the daytime. Well since everyone would be out having a good time celebrating the holiday he figured it would be best to use other clocks from his nights and weekends to make the station sound younger, cooler and more up-tempo for the listeners’ party vibe. He also adjusted his rule groups which allow his nights and weekend to schedule with the flexibility he allows to also effect Monday with the plan to put everything back for regular programming.

Sure he could have created another Assignment Grid that he could activate at a given moment for these kinds of holidays. He could have even used the Format Scheduler feature in Clocks to assign a different Assignment Grid to a day or clocks to specific hours. However, he was more concerned about the sound of the station and making sure his rules also acted like it was nights or the weekend all day on the Memorial Day Monday. (You can read about how to create other Assignment Grids or use the Format Scheduler in other blogs or in the Help Section. )

Even if he would have gone the easy route of using the Format Scheduler feature or having another Assignment Grid ready to go so that he didn’t have to touch his master grid he would have been missing one key element. His rules would have still operated like a Monday scheduling more adult music back-to-back, maybe not so up-tempo, etc. His rules would still act like a Monday even though his clocks may have been the weekend clocks, which is why he saw the need to adjust his nights and weekend rule groups to also affect Monday temporarily.

I asked him a couple questions and pretty much narrowed it down after looking at his grid that his main objective was to make Memorial Day Monday sound like his Saturdays. This is a day where he uses the same clock as his weekday night clock all day to sound up-tempo and younger. Unfortunately he went through all that trouble I mentioned when he could of gotten the results at a click of the mouse.

I asked if he ever considered the “Holiday Override” feature located in the Automatic Scheduler. You guessed it! He had no idea what I was talking about.

summer1The Holiday Override lets you use the Automatic Scheduler as if it were a different day, instead of the actual day it really is. Rules that participate are Rule Groups that are dayparted, shift assignments and song dayparting. So if Monday is a holiday you can choose to schedule it as if it were a Saturday and it will schedule that day in accordance to all the rules applied to a Saturday.

summer2Keep in mind that if you want to schedule multiple days at a time this feature will only effect the first day scheduled, so you may have to adjust your automatic scheduling pattern to take advantage of this feature. Also as I previously mentioned if you want to use different clocks you may want to read up on how to use the Format Scheduler because this function does not affect the clocks or active Assignment Grid.

As the upcoming holidays arrive remember this cool feature so that you can make your station sound like any day you want even if its not really that day in just a couple clicks of the mouse.