Clock Changes Coming to NPR's Programming

Nov 14, 2014

Did you know that every public radio program has a clock? You may think of it as one of the ways you time your day – maybe you know that you have to be in the shower by the time the NPR newscast starts, or that you should be on your way to work before you hear Frank DeFord, or that you usually are turning into the drive as Marketplace begins each evening.  Broadcast clocks are set templates that stations use to track the timing of a show's stories and interviews, newscasts, and funding credits each day.

This fall, in partnership with member stations across the country, NPR is making some changes to its newsmagazine clocks. This will help align programs with the way people listen to radio today and provide stations with more flexibility to include the local news and information that's important to their audiences.

Regular Morning Edition features like StoryCorps and the 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.

Iowa Public Radio will also be offering two chances each hour to hear the latest Iowa news, both at the top and the bottom of each hour.

So how will you notice the changes? Starting November 17, you're likely to hear several more regular breaks for local news and information in Morning Edition, and a 4-minute local feature segment in each hour of All Things Considered. In both clocks, music breaks are longer, giving Clay Masters and Pat Blank more opportunities to share details on upcoming stories while still having time to insert our local material.

We're sharing feedback with NPR about these changes as they roll out. If you have questions or comments, please send them to me at kperkins@iowapublicradio.org.