We use a clock to tell what time it is and to determine where we are in a 24 hour period. Well, Capital Public Radio and NPR use a “broadcast clock” to schedule what happens in each hour of our programs.
The broadcast clock is a template that lays out the timing of a show’s stories, interviews, newscasts, funding credits, promotions and more. So when you hear that newscast with Ed Joyce, an in-depth health care story from Pauline Bartolone, our Friday business segment on Morning Edition or a promotion for the next Insight with Beth Ruyak, it’s all scheduled according to a broadcast clock. This clock is also how Capital Public Radio hosts coordinate with NPR hosts in Washington, DC and Culver City, CA so we don’t talk over each other.
Starting Monday, November 17, NPR is making changes to the broadcast clocks for Morning Edition and All Things Considered. The process of crafting the clocks was done in partnership with member stations across the country.
Some changes may not even be noticeable. Others are more substantial. We believe the new clocks will align the programs with the way people listen to radio today and give us the ability to include a wider array of the regional news and information that's important to our listeners.
So how will you notice the changes? First and foremost, you'll hear more regional news throughout each hour of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Regular Morning Edition features like StoryCorps and sports commentaries by Frank DeFord will continue, though you may hear them in different parts of the program.
NPR is also adding five seconds to its national funding credits (The "Support for NPR is provided by..." messages you hear during NPR programs). There will continue to be eight scheduled credits per hour in both newsmagazines.
This is a major transition, but it’s an exciting one and long overdue. NPR show clocks haven’t been updated for many years to mirror the new ways you listen to the radio and get your news. They are now more reflective of the 21st century lives we lead.