On-Air Highlights

Time Change!

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Nov 13, 2014 3:06 PM
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Okay...this post may seem about two weeks too late, but there is actually another clock change occurring on November 17 at WITF and public radio stations across the country.  Don't worry, this will not require any clocks in your house to be adjusted. However, please be sure to change the batteries in your smoke detector if you haven't done so already.

A little back story: Every hour of programming has a clock.  This clock defines when segments of a show begin and end. This is done so every station around the country knows when to begin their insert of locally broadcasted content in between national segments from NPR.  In most cases these transitions are fairly straightforward.

Over the years, there have been modifications to these clocks which probably breezed through without you noticing.  Perhaps this change too will happen and you'll shrug your shoulders and go about your day.  Radio is a very habitual form of media.  You likely tune in to WITF and other stations in the midstate at about the same time every day, for approximately the same amount of time, etc.  Sure there are variations for one thing or another, but you get my point.  

Almost every program clock is getting updated Monday.  The biggest changes may be noticeable in Morning Edition.  Are you like me? Do you hear Tim Lambert say, "It's 6:19 and 38 in Middletown...time for a WITF traffic update..." and you know it's time to get up and make some coffee.  Traffic is now going to move a few minutes later, so instead you'll hear, "It's 6:21 and 28 in Middletown...time for a WITF traffic update..."  Big deal right? Traffic will be 2 minutes later?  But, like me...that means 2 minutes later to start the coffee...2 minutes later to run outside to grab the newspaper...2 minutes later to get in the car to commute to WITF.  That 2 minutes may roll into being late for something!  So, here is a rundown of some of the small changes that may change how soon you get that first pot of coffee cooking (6:00am-9:00am):

  • Regional and state news will now begin at 4 minutes past the hour.  Currently it begins at 6 past the hour.  There will also be shorter newscasts (both national and regional in nature) at 19 and 42 minutes past the hour. 
  • Traffic updates will now occur at 21, 31, 44, and 50 minutes past the hour  (currently it's only at 19, 29, and 49 minutes past the hour)
  • Regional news features (like the Arts and Culture desk, Keystone Crossroads, Transforming Health, and StateImpact Pennsylvania) will air at 45 minutes past the hour (currently you frequently hear these stories at 35 minutes past the hour.)

Maybe these sound like little details...but you tell us. Leave a comment on our facebook page or comment below.  This will be our virtual change jar if you should hear the wrong time said in a certain break because it begins at a different time.  These are big changes for WITF. The on-air staff has been working hard to adjust to these new clocks.  This has also been a big deal across the country as these changes begin on November 17....so much so that NPR even developed a time-themed music playlist below.  Enjoy! 

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