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It’s All About Me! posted on January 11th, 2023

by Dave Tyler

I got my first radio job in 1983 at 1560AM WKIQ in tiny Inverness, Florida. The radio station was in a trailer between my house and the bus stop, so every day I would knock on the locked door and ask for a job. The PD was a guy named Greg and every day he said “No!”….well, until one day he opened the door and said “I’ll make deal with you, I’ll hire you but you can only come here when you are scheduled!”

He had me on the air doing Radio trader and running programs off of cassettes and records. I would say things like “It’s partly cloudy outside and I hope everybody has a nice day”. Greg would storm in and say “Has is it ever been partly cloudy INSIDE??? Ever??” and “Stop saying EVERYBODY….you are not talking to everybody, you are talking to individuals, you are talking to ME. If I hear you say EVERYBODY again, you’ll work every holiday for the rest of the year”. Fact was, I was 16 and the newbie and was already working every holiday and weekend, but his point was well received. We are not programming to the population but to each person in it.

For those that have seen me, it is clear that I love McDonald’s and Pizza Hut. A bag of burgers or a pan pizza and I’m a pretty happy dude. But if you ever visit me in Ocala, Florida and want a great burger, I will take you to the locally owned Lodge. Huge burgers, and the one with pork belly on it is ridiculously good. I mean you’ll take selfies with it, it is so good! And for pizza, we’re going to Lorito’s on the Blvd. It’s been there for 40+ years and has the finest pizza, and they make their own salad dressing too. You’ll be dipping your crust in it and savoring it like the last bite of lobster at a fancy dinner.

These are two of more than a thousand places, people, and things in my town that make it special, and your radio station is one of those important ingredients that makes your market so unique as well.

Ok so what does this have to do with MusicMaster? Gosh so much! Just as Stevie Ray Vaughn used a Fender Stratocaster to get the sound in his head out through his amplifier, MusicMaster is the tool you use to get that special, one-of-a-kind sound in your head out of the speakers. It is the reason why you can have two stations in the same market playing the exact same songs with equal talent and imaging, yet one is heads and shoulders above the rest to the listener.

Probably 60% of my career has been on the air, scheduling and programming Country music, so I am going to lean on that throughout this article. If I travel to Texas, I expect a huge helping of Aaron Watson, Pat Green, Lyle Lovett, Red Dirt, and Swing all spicing up the Country station I am listening to, and I would be disappointed if I didn’t hear it. Same goes if I am in Kentucky. I would be sad if I didn’t hear a lot more Ricky Skaggs and Alison Krauss. And you better believe if I am anywhere in Southern California near Bakersfield, I want to be overserved Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakam on the Country radio there, not to mention local artists. It’s part of the reason I love travelling. There is something special and unique about every market and it is important to program to the people who live there and give them that spice they love, even if the rest of the world doesn’t get it. Don’t schedule to EVERYBODY schedule to ME!

MusicMaster has so many incredible tools, like song coding for specialty programming and themed weekends (see my article on this at This gives you the ability to present your sales team with focused programming they can sell to a targeted local clientele. In doing this, you’ll find sales team members coming up to you asking if you can have a themed weekend for the furniture store (hmmm ok rocking chair and porch sitting songs…I can do that!) to Beach/Lake/Boat themed weekends they can sell to the local Marine dealer. Local themes sold to local stores for the entertainment of the local individuals.

And it doesn’t even have to be a themed weekend. It could be something as simple as a ”Double-Shot Weekend” using MusicMaster Special Sets. Check out Paul Ziino’s great 4 part blog about Special Sets here: (Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four). There is a station in my town that does this every Sunday and I listen to them exclusively because they pull it off perfectly and I love hearing two songs in a row by the same artist. They sell it and it sounds fresh and exciting and is literally playing on every radio in town and yeah…they use MusicMaster to do it.

You might have a hot Country station (or whatever format) that really leans on the new stuff but every time you are out at a remote or answer the phone, you keep hearing how folks miss hearing that 70s, 80’s and 90s Country. This could be an opportunity to highlight this music and to get it sponsored. Stick it in a “Oh Wow” or “Variety” category in MM or code it as such, and then you can highlight it as a once-a-show feature or a weekly program, or whatever way fits best.

We all know we can’t change the way we program willy nilly because one person said something, but if the market agrees that they love what you do already but sure wouldn’t mind hearing some other part of your format, then it is worth at least considering how to fill that need if you find there is a legitimate hole in the market. Give the people what they want.

Consultant Keith Hill said to me many, many years ago “Every time you crack the mic you need to prove you live here”. That is a huge statement and goal, and it is not always easy, but it is right. Our listeners each have a plethora of ways to get their music. Heck, I’m a radio guy and I have a couple dozen Amazon and Spotify playlists myself! However, if an individual feels you are speaking to them, relating to them, feeding them music they want to hear by introducing them to great new music and local talent, and surprising them with great old tunes, they’ll be intrigued and stick around to hear more.

Coding your music, Special Sets, using migrating positions…MusicMaster has so many tools for you to use to make your sound pop and keep sounding fresh. The thing that gets me out of bed each day is the fact that I know I will get a call from a Programmer that has a cool idea and really wants to make it come out of the speakers! To me, that is the fun stuff and I know I speak for my colleagues here at MusicMaster when I say those are the calls they get the most excited about too. We are here and ready for the next great idea that will make your station like that great burger folks keep coming back for day after day! Yum!

Taking “Theme” Programming To The Next Level posted on May 20th, 2019

By Dave Tyler

MusicMaster has always been the leader in flexible ways to schedule the sound you want to hear on your radio station. For decades great programmers have put together themed weekends and shows with a few clicks using Special Sets and Saved Lists. We have all heard “The Sales Department makes money and the Programming Department spends it all”! Specialty programming, either during the week or on the weekends is a great way to offer your Sales Department a product they can make money on via sponsorships.

You can search our blogs and videos and find lots of articles and walkthroughs on Special Sets and Saved Lists but what I want to talk about today is a new feature in MusicMaster Pro version 7.0 called “Find Similar” that gives you another tool in your toolbox to locate songs and save them in lists to use for your specialty programming.

Let’s say for example I am programming a Light AC station and at 8am and 8pm each day I want a segment called “The 80’s Ladies at 8” that I can sell a sponsorship for. I can open my entire music library and find a single song that matches my criteria, for example, Tina Turner “What’s Love Got To Do With It”. At this point right click in the column of an attribute like Role or Era and select “Find Similar Attributes”.

This pulls up the “Similar Attributes” dialog box and we have some choices from the dropdown that determine how exact we want this list to match.

Depending on what level of “Exactness” you choose determines how many songs you get. If you are just looking for female singers with 80’s hits well you got ‘em! If you want more exactness it will also grab similar tempos etc. You can set the fields you want to see and search on by clicking the “Design” button and pulling up the “Edit Grid Layout” box which is similar to your “Show/Hide” box in the Editor.

Once you have the fields you selected click ok. When you have the list you want simply click on the “Save List” button, name your list and click ok.

You now have a “80’s Ladies” saved list that you can program from by selecting the “Saved List” element type in your clock and then choosing your list from the dropdown.

This a great new feature in MusicMaster Pro 7.0. Stay tuned for more on this version and be sure to search our brand new, completely redone and awesome Help section in MusicMaster. It includes videos and more!

Custom Rules for Specialty Clocks posted on May 21st, 2018

By Marianne Burkett

So, you have a 5’oclock Free Ride feature and you want specific rules to fit the hour.

You want no slow songs, no buzz killer songs, right?  Just music that will pick up the spirits of those stuck in the car, in rush hour traffic.

With MusicMaster, if there’s a will there’s a way.

Let’s go to the Rule Tree and set up some custom rules for your 5pm clock(s)!

Go to: Dataset/Rule Tree or just click on the Lightning Bolt Icon.  At the top right-hand side of the Rule Tree in Available Rule Types is the folder “Special Rule Tree Items”.  Inside that folder is “Rule Group”.

Pull the Rule Group over to the Unbreakable All Categories folder.  The Rule Group properties will open up once you’ve dropped it in the folder.

You only have a few clocks assigned to your 5pm hour so this will be quick.

First fill out the “Description” field and give your rule group a name, then move over to “Group Mode” and select “Test Rules as if they’re not in a group”. (When you use the recap report, you’ll be able to see what rules in the rule group are failing or having difficulty if you chose this option.)

Next, go to the “Clock Restrictions” section and list the clocks you want to adhere to your specific set of rules for the specialty show.  Be sure to separate the specific clock codes with a comma!

Click okay and your Rule Group is ready to fill up with specific rules for the show.

Drag and drop your rules over the title of the Rule Group and you should see the lightning bolt next to the rule, indent a bit.  If the lightning bolt isn’t indented, it’s not yet in the rule group.  If that’s the case, drag it over the name of the Rule Group and it should tuck in for you.

Save your Rule Tree and you are done!   How easy was that?

The beauty of this is if your specialty show ever moves to a different time, the rules will just follow the clocks to the new time.

If you have any questions, please contact MusicMaster Support.




The Session Filter – Specialty Programming With One Click posted on March 14th, 2016

By Marianne Burkett

Many radio stations around the country celebrate the weekends by spicing up the music starting Friday afternoon. Whether it’s an A-to-Z weekend, a countdown show or maybe just a focus on some “type” of music. There are different ways to program those specials in MusicMaster.   Today I’m going to focus on programming a specific “type” or “style” of music using Session Filters. For example: How to schedule a #1 hit weekend. Once in place in the clocks, Session Filters are like a secret weapon for one click specialty programming. Here’s how:


The Art of Special Sets (Part Three) posted on October 20th, 2014

By Paul Ziino

We’ve discussed the art of scheduling Two-Fers over the first two parts of this series. Today we’re going to discuss how to use Special Sets to schedule Artist and Title intros. (more…)

The Art of Special Sets (Part Two) posted on October 13th, 2014

By Paul Ziino

Wouldn’t it be great if MusicMaster knew which artists were eligible for two-fers instead of just hoping to match on an artist with multiple songs in the library? This can be done! Here’s how to build a Kickoff Category in MusicMaster. (more…)

The Art of Special Sets (Part One) posted on October 6th, 2014

By Paul Ziino

Special Sets can be used for creating “Two-Fers,” scheduling unique imaging ahead of specific songs, and more. In this article we discuss the basics of scheduling Two-Fers. (more…)

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. (more…)

2fer Tuesdays posted on November 5th, 2012

by Paul Ziino

Lots of stations do a 2fer Tuesday feature or other artist double-shots. Here’s how to do this in MusicMaster.

Start by going to Dataset/Library/Keywords/Artist Keywords, click Tools/Kickoff Category Wizard and follow the prompts. Check the categories you want MusicMaster to consult when determining which artists have enough music for a 2fer. Generally this would be your entire active music library, though some stations have a large Hold category with songs that could be used for 2fers as well.


Scheduling by Theme posted on October 10th, 2011

by Paul Ziino

Whether you want to schedule a bunch of “car” songs leading up to the Indy 500 or “patriotic” songs for Independence Day, Theme Scheduling can get the job done. Here’s how in 10 easy steps… (more…)