Production week one:

Day one of music radio group work went pretty to plan, with us as a group effectively working together to sort an initial playlist, forming feature proposals, establishing (since on day one itself we weren’t too clear as to) who would be doing what all alongside starting to think of how our programme would sound too. Music, especially music policy so what was going to be played plus what really wouldn’t get on-air, was a key focus of the day. We decided to have a playlist of around one hundred core tracks, most of which would be well-known to our audience, then have a small A, B, C style playlist too of newer songs to add into the rotation. At a later date, in the next session or one after that we will put together a show clock to run from to. This is alongside a running order.

In this week we made our main programme document which is available via Google Docs online.

We decided a music policy in week one, our music policy is to ‘showcase the jazz classics and new jazz too’. This is what we work off.

My team role is to be the presenter. However will be assisting in all other parts of production too, including producing advertising plus having a say on what goes through to be played. This is important because as the presenter I need to interact properly with songs being played on our mock station and programme too.  Just presenting is not fair because whilst this role does require some prior research it can be seen as a get out clause, to not do much production work beforehand.


Production week two:

Since this week, that being our first week producing things and starting to plan out our Jazz programme. Finding a name is something I have been thinking about however since this show sits on a commercial station it’s likely, and fitting too, if we just choose to call our show by our presenters (so mine and Shammy’s) names. In this second week, we covered playlists. Understanding how important music is. Then looked at what we would be interested in playing. And we decided on a playlist, with an A, B plus recurrent/gold hits too. We will have a selection of new jazz songs, then these songs will be accompanied by a gold/recurrent core playlist of near a hundred tracks to build our playlist on.

We have started to plan features too then build a clock. In the next coming weeks, we will start to focus on building this clock more. I hope soon myself plus fellow presenter Shammy can start to think where features will work best.


Production week three:

Recently we have learned all things ad production related plus covered what goes into making. A useful tool to consider its importance. Because ultimately as our lecturer Matthew pointed out, commercial radio provides an audience therefore without advertisements it wouldn’t continue to run. We made mock ads then considered how we may produce ads for our station/programme too.

We have sat to plan our playlist. Ryan, our Head of Music, has made our made playlist then will build this up, add it to Myriad too. We have, on the Friday itself, ran through our advertisements, taking a minute to try to play out those spot adverts. We are all going to write an advert each with someone, Ginny, taking responsibility for ensuring all are produced. We have to make fifteen though will aim to do more than that.

Branding, how the station will sound on air, has been thought about too. We need to target a JAzz FM audience however do not want our station to sound exactly the same.


Production week four:

Forth week into producing our music radio uni wasn’t the most productive week on a personal level because I spent Thursday on a Student Radio Association tour of BBC Radio 1 then Global’s group in Central London. Thankfully my jazz production team kept me in the loop by letting me know what they’d been up to, producing ads, working on scripts however taking a focus on making mock station/programme imaging including a top of the hour jingle plus a news bed. On this day I made notes from my time touring radio station, finding out as much about presenting as I could do which I put to action.

Day two of week four was spent planning out where to go from here on in. Also it is worth mentioning we as a class set out a list of rules to start following, a contract to some extent, for us to start working better collectively as a group as industry would very much expect us to do so. I spent this day working on my jazz presenting style by recording almost ten mock links to perfect a slower, relaxing style of presenting. These links can be accessed on our groups Google Docs folder. We started to think through our features too. Plus managed to plan out our programme clock, which can be used for both hour one and hour two too. We decided upon five or six links, perhaps a couple more or a couple less, an hour because otherwise, we would overcrowd a commercial radio programme of which listeners listen to mainly for music nothing more. My to-do list includes focusing on features, as a presenter come producer features, to understand how they could work alongside how they would be worded too. We are each attempting to produce some advertisements too to share a workload.


Production week five:

Week five started with a recording session with my friend come fellow student Dan Taylor. We spent an hour inside a studio recording, recorded a Homebase ad with a Christmas theme alongside a range of dry spoken station identification items. I thought it would be useful to have those recorded so they were on the system. These have been placed on our Google Docs folder online to be accessed for all.

Following this we have sat down to focus for a minute on advertisements, since this has been a big concern for us all as we haven’t before produced these before. On our Thursday we planed adverts, decided where to go from here on in as well as edited lots. I have been working on a running order producer Sara. Plus myself alongside now to be co-presenter Shammy produced a couple of mocked up presenter links to work on sounding a lot more like we are presenting on a jazz station targeting an older more mature audience. This is still a work in progress.

On Friday we spent a day as a team rehearsing our outside broadcasting. We have been struggling to find an artist or band for that matter to perform live. Myself and Makee went out to put out as many posters to find an artist as we could do, focusing on our university’s music department. On this Friday we played audio thus far to lecturer Tom to hear feedback then went about deciding upon advertisements. Quite rightly, Head of Advertisements, Ginny, pointed out we have a couple of adverts however need many many more to be produced. Afterwards we set out who would produce what before writing such information. We continued to present mock links too. Plus work on our running order. We reviewed our current music playlist to discover we have somewhat of a shortfall of musical content. This will be changed hopefully within the next week, as we need a larger pool of jazz songs, ideally fifteen per playlist.


Week six.

Week six started with a team meeting regarding advertisements, however, I couldn’t make this due to a prior hospital commitment beforehand. Plus on this Thursday, an additional day we can in to focus on producing our jazz programme, I sat down with my co-presenter Shammy to work out how our on-air presenting personality would sound. Sitting down in a studio off air for some time allowed us time to familiarise outside with our playlist, ensuring we were ready for pilots plus live programmes.

In the afternoon of Thursday, we spent time pretending to go live, doing mock live jazz programmes because this is a stunning opportunity to work out how our programmes work. During this programme, we found our music log including all sorts of jazz is now finished plus have a great, albeit a couple still to be produced, set of commercial radio quality adverts.

Friday was proper pilot day. We went live doing a full programme from eleven to one including a live performance too. We then had a snooping session. Tom told us numerous bits of advice, of which we can improve on throughout the programmes following. For me personally, my advice was to throw forward more often, drop constant time checks, work on top of hours, alter angles on links, mention our shows name alongside take time to sell tracks more often too.

I have produced a lengthy, detailed programme live on-air document for us inside the studio to follow. This will help when live. It details everything from music notes, feature scripts, news introductions, technical set up instructions alongside many ideas for potential talking subjects.


Week seven.

This is the week. These seven weeks of work have lead up to this date. On Thursday we decided as a group to do another run through, to see how things were coming together. When we did our pilot programme number two it was most important to focus on feedback from Tom from the following snoop come feedback session. I took the liberty of typing my feedback notes up on an A4 piece of paper as large as you could can go font wise because I thought it was important to improve from feedback in the following programme. A key thing to focus on was my tone of voice, remembering someone listening to Jazz FM wouldn’t appreciate a similar tone to a Capital FM listener. To change my sound, without obviously changing myself as a presenter, I took time to listen to radio programmes with presenters targetting an older ear. A favourite station of mine is Smooth Radio, I particularly enjoy listening to Gary King’s weekday breakfast show, therefore I listened to how he presents then took this onboard. Gary presents as if every single thing he says is absolutely hilarious therefore has a bit of laughter in his voice each link. I have placed this within every link on our programme from here on in.

Following our second pilot programme, which went okay, we had a through feedback session for a good forty minutes or so with lecturer Matthew. He made many suggestions. Each team member had their role broken down, with each assigned a personal to-do list to work on. Myself, I had to focus on speaking slower, sorting features out to ensure they made sense, work on a better running order, script links better with my co-presenter alongside work on my general. I spent the Thursday afterwards, following our pilot that morning, writing a full programme script for myself plus co-presenter Shammy, assisting Sara with our running order plus recording practice bits including a feature we later decided wasn’t correct to put out on-ar because it didn’t make sense.
This is the day of the programme itself. Friday 30th November was here. And by eleven o’clock we’d have started, then by one we’d have finished our two-hour long jazz programme for good. On this day, we decided to arrive early, I turned up shortly after nine to run through scripts, set up etc way before eleven o’clock came around. I set out to ensure I had everything worked out in my mind before we went on-air, this included everything from checking scripts, setting up our studio, doing bits to do with our outside broadcast plus thinking through what was going to happen in our upcoming broadcast. From eleven o’clock we went live. I was presenting alongside driving the desk, this is something I do on a weekly basis, however, am not used to doing it for a jazz so found it difficult at times to keep track on levels when prepping links. Our programme, known as The Stephen and Shammy Show, went live with just a couple of hiccups throughout.
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