Radio Stations Project

*Create a Radio Stations

There are certain elements that are common to all formats. These can be thought of as building blocks. Programmers blend different types and amounts of music, news, public affairs, features, public service announcements, commercials, contests, promotions, jingles, and announcing styles to attract audiences. This combination of elements is called a format. Different formats and different combinations of elements within formats attract different audiences. Each of those building blocks is vital in its own way.


Music is perhaps the most obvious and most important part of any format, with the exception of news, talk and sports. Even with these formats music plays an important part of helping the station establish an identity. More goes into programming music than the average listener suspects. Program Directors, Consultants and Music Directors don’t just grab a stack of a particular type of CDs and play them randomly throughout the day. Programmers analyze trade magazines such as Billboard and Radio and Records, they perform auditorium tests and run focus groups before adding selections to their playlists.


After programmers assemble their playlists they then decide when certain songs will be heard on the air. Some songs are morning songs and best played at 8 a.m. Others work best during midday or during evening hours. The general rule is that uptempo songs tend to be favored during the day, while softer slow tempo songs are favored during the evening hours. Mid-tempo songs may be played throughout the day to give a station’s sound balance. For example it’s not uncommon for an Adult Contemporary station to feature songs which sound nearly Top 40 during the day and feature “loves songs” during evening hours.

Programmers use various categories when building a coding scheme. For example tempo might be one category, arrangement might be another. These categories are assigned codes. An uptempo song may be coded with a “U” while a slow song will receive an “S”. Likewise, a song with a single instrument such as a guitar might receive a “1” while one with a full orchestra will receive a “3”.

Songs are often further coded according to gender of the artist, and lyrical mood. A bluesy lyric might receive a “B” while a cheerful lyric would receive a “C”. An “M” or an “F” would be used to designate the artist’s gender or perhaps a “D” for a male/female duet.

Thus a fully orchestrated uptempo song performed by a female artist with a cheerful lyric might be coded U/3/C/F . The “U” represents the tempo. In this case it is uptempo The “3” represents the degree of orchestration. In this case it is full orchestra. The “C” represents lyrical mood. In this case cheerful. The “F” represents the artist’s gender, female.

Likewise a blues song performed by a male guitarist might receive a code of S/1/B/M. In this case the “S” represents slow tempo; the “1” represents single instrument; the “B” represents bluesy lyric and the “M” represents the performer’s gender, male.

Once the programmer determines codes, he/she is ready to put the selections into rotation.


Two transmission methods (systems of modulation) used are used. AM amplitude modulation varies the amplitude (intensity) of the carrier, while the frequency remains the same. FM encodes the sound information by changing the frequency, while the amplitude remains constant.

Each system has its advantages and disadvantages. AM is the older of the two transmission systems. FM, the newer system, is now the dominant band. It accounts for more than 75% of radio listeners.

AM’s advantage is that it travels great distances, particularly at night via skywave. Its disadvantage is that it has limited frequency response. AM radio is restricted to 10 kilohertz. This limitation gives it less than the full-range of frequencies needed for ideal fidelity. AM stations are restricted from producing sound above 5,000 cycles per second. This results in a loss of the overtones that provide the richness and warmth that give fullness to sound. This further disadvantages AM stations by reducing their dynamic range, the difference in volume from soft to loud sound.

Because AM transmission varies the amplitude of the wave, it is more susceptible to interference. AM stations broadcast using medium frequency (MF) waves. Music has almost disappeared from AM radio. Successful formats include: News, Talk, (Full Service) and Sports.

To the average listener, FM’s obvious advantage is stereo. In FM stereo, the right and left channels are transmitted on separate subcarriers. Stereo receivers detect both signals and reproduce right and left channels. The mono signal (combined left and right) leaves the transmitter as a single signal. In addition to stereo, FM benefits from having a wider bandwidth than AM, 200 kilohertz vs 10 kilohertz. This wider bandwidth give FM a frequency response that extends from below 10 Hertz to 15,000 Hertz. As a result the listener hears a truer representation of sound. Most music formats are now heard on FM. Talk and news, formats popular on AM are also heard on FM. WWBD FM, (formerly talk, now ’80s format “The Point”) Philadelphia and WTOP FM, (news) Washington, DC (WNEW, New York former Rock ‘n’ Roll Powerhouse is now a talk station as is KLSX in Los Angeles) are examples.

One of FM’s other major advantages is a built in resistance to interference. Unlike AM, FM transmission varies the frequency of the signal keeping the amplitude constant. Static interacts with the amplitude of radio waves. This results, in FM being relatively interference free (see No Static At All provided by WCRB FM, Boston.Diagrams

FM does have disadvantages with respect to AM. It occupies the VHF band. Signals at these higher frequencies attenuate quickly and travel line-of-sight, no further than the horizon.

FM signals are also prone to multipath interference. This happens when a bounced signal interacts with the original signal inside your receiver.


1.Choose a radio station to listen to for one hour (or record and listen later). From the top of the hour to the end of the hour, list the type of content aired in chronological order. For example, if the station plays a few songs in a row from 1:05 to 1:10, you could call that a “music sweep” for that time. 4

2.Then take that list of content and put it on the clock at the appropriate times.

3.See the example below

4 . download this application

5. check out live station map here

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