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A Very "TuneTracker" Christmas, Part II

Because TuneTracker System lets you broadcast anything, anytime, you have total freedom to come up with wonderful, creative programming for the Christmas season. Last time, we talked about preparing specials and block programming. This time, it's Christmas music.

Because there's Christmas music to match virtually any radio station's format these days, you introduce it into your music mix without compromising the style of music your listeners have come to expect from you. Look for selections that go well with your format, but don't be afraid to stray a little off-format at Christmas time, since people are sentimental about traditional favorites as well. You're the best judge of how much bending you can afford to do on your station.

First, determine how you want TuneStacker music selection software to "find" your Christmas songs, then mark your Christmas songs accordingly. Next, change your format clocks and master logs to randomly select songs based on those criteria. Some ideas and approaches are listed below.

Before you make changes though, we recommend you edit your existing format clocks and master logs with special Christmas filenames, That way you can return to normal programming following the holidays without having to remove the special changes you made.

Here are some ideas for ways to randomize your Christmas music, using the simple "Random" command in your format:

If you want the simplest approach, just mark all your Christmas songs with the comment, Christmas, like this:

Random Comment Christmas Protect

If you want to combine the Christmas designation along with an indication of tempo, mark your songs under the Tempo attribute with simple compound words like "ChrSlow" and use lines like this in your format:

Random Tempo ChrSlow Protect
Random Tempo ChrMed Protect
Random Tempo ChrFast Protect

If you want to combine the Christmas designation with an indication of musical style, mark your songs under the Genre format, you can use a simple compound word like the ones shown below:

Random Genre ChrRock Protect
Random Genre ChrJazz Protect
Random Genre ChrFunk Protect
Random Genre ChrEasy Protect

You can even mark them for more than two, if you really want powerful format control. Maybe you'd like to specify each Christmas song's genre and tempo, all in one compound word. You could mark the songs to be found by lines like:

Random Comment ChrFastRock Protect
Random Comment ChrMedTraditional Protect
Random Comment ChrSlowCountry Protect

By being creative with your song attributes and randomizations, and combining them in logical ways, you can come up with a pleasing mix.

You might want to "phase-in" your Christmas music between Thanksgiving and Christmas, starting with a selection every half hour or every hour, and ramping up as you get closer to Christmas. A holiday greeting liner placed just before a Christmas selection makes a for a nice-sounding presentation, making the addition of Christmas music sound more "purposeful."


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