The Times They Are a Changin'

Nov 10, 2014

The new Morning Edition clock debuts Nov. 17
Credit Jason Brown

There’s a structure to what you hear on KRCU that’s about to change.

Each show on the station is governed by a “clock.” These graphical representations of each hour lay out what happens in a program and when.  

Whether it’s a newscast, a promotion for what is coming up later in the show, or a regular segment such as Marketplace Morning Report, it all happens at a precise time according to the clock. This clock is how we coordinate between hosts that are in NPR’s studios in Washington, DC or Culver City, CA and KRCU's hosts who are in our studios in Cape Girardeau, so we don’t end up talking over each other.

For years these broadcast “clocks” have remained the same. But how we listen to the radio and get our news has changed radically.

Over the last year, NPR has been redesigning the show clocks with a team of Program Directors from stations across the country. They spent countless hours on conference calls and in face to face meetings, going over every minute of the shows. They evaluated and debated when stations should be telling you about local business sponsors and should be starting the big story of the day. They considered research about how people’s morning routines differ from their afternoon routines. That affects how often stations need to tell you about the weather. Lots of thought went into what you will hear during each second of the shows when the new clocks go into effect on Monday, November 17th.

Some of the adjustments are really small and you probably won’t notice them. Others are more substantial. For instance, the times when you hear news updates in Morning Edition are changing. Instead of a newscast at the beginning of each half hour, you’ll hear news updates every twenty minutes during the program. KRCU's local newscasts will be aired at the top AND bottom of the hour as opposed to only top of the hour.  

The bottom line is, if you know when to walk the dog or leave the house based on when something happens on the radio, you might want to keep your watch handy until you get to know the rhythm of the new “clocks.”

Here are a couple changes to note:

• News headlines during Morning Edition will air at 1 MINUTE past the hour, 20 past, and 41 past
• KRCU's newscasts will air at 4 minutes past and 31 past the hour.

Additionally, the new Morning Edition clocks will make airing our 2-minutes module programs harder to fit in the morning, so we are moving them to the afternoon.

Discover Nature will move to All Things Considered and air Mondays at 5:18 p.m.
A Harte Appetite will move to All Things Considered and air Tuesdays at 5:18 p.m.
• Almost Yesterday will move to All Things Considered and air Wednesdays at 5:18 p.m.