syndicated programming question

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Ace Purple
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syndicated programming question

Post by Ace Purple » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:08 pm

Question: what is the preferred method for stations to receive syndicated programming? I have syndication experience going back to my Tampa days, but I have been approached by a show looking to launch a weekly syndicated Saturday program running 2-3 hours. It would run primarily on Urban Talk and Sports stations (it's a mix of both) and would be a taped broadcast in all likelihood given the financial barriers involved.

Satellite distribution seems cost-prohibitive at this point, plus for a taped show there would be no need for that kind of expense. When I worked for BTLS, we distributed the show via satellite, but that was more than six years ago for a live morning show. Plus, the guys I'm talking with now don't have a huge budget (or a sat uplink like Clear Channel Tampa had/has).

Is internet FTP distribution viable? It makes more sense than the old method of mailing discs (or even cassette tapes, like we used to get at WUEV when I worked there in the mid-1990s), but I wonder how many stations have someone on hand who can effectively get the program from a computer into the system and have it run properly on a Saturday.

Any insight would be most appreciated.
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Tom Taggart
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Re: syndicated programming question

Post by Tom Taggart » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:24 pm

We download Casey Kasem's redone AT-40/70's era shows from an FTP site. Sent MP3. Would prefer CD, but considering some of the shows sound like they came off of a disc (i.e.--those big, black CD type things--but with a smaller hole), I suppose it doesn't make that much difference.

For a small number of stations, CD may really make more sense. There would be some expense to copy and mail a CD to, say 5 or 10 stations, but might be less headaches then trying to set-up an FTP site.

You would need to have the show ready by Thursday--at the latest--of the week it airs. There would be nobody at home Saturdays to download a show.

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Re: syndicated programming question

Post by Ace Purple » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:36 pm

Thank you for the advice, Tom! It's much appreciated.

Whether via FTP or CD, is it best to have each segment as its own track? How do other shows that use this method label their program segments?
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Mr. Jones
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Re: syndicated programming question

Post by Mr. Jones » Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:52 pm

In my experience, give every segment its own separate track/file. That leaves maximum flexibility for the station to segue from the program/spots to their own local liners/spots/whatever, especially since a station might have a unique way of playing their shows against what you've planned.

Also, echoing Tom's statement, make it available as soon as possible. CD delivery by Thursday (no later), FTP by Friday. I would try to stick with one or the other (for sheer cost purposes and uniform delivery system).

In this day and age, I would personally favor FTP delivery. It comes with the cheapest (I presume) budget and ease of use. You could also post formats/custom liners/corrections in short order.

But that's just me...

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Re: syndicated programming question

Post by Ace Purple » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:45 pm

My preference would be to make it available via FTP. I have enough experience with that to set it up without too much trouble. Thanks so much for your feedback on this -- it's greatly appreciated.

Would Friday availability need to be early in the day? I want to make this as easy as possible for affiliate stations.
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Re: syndicated programming question

Post by Jay Nunley » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:21 pm

FTP. One file for each segment. Available no later than the Tuesday before the weekend.

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Re: syndicated programming question

Post by Dave Harman » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:37 am

Cd's work well. Most stations with any kind of modern automation or computer gear can rip the segments into the system, and let the automation do the work.

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Re: syndicated programming question

Post by Big Media » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:19 am

I would have both options available and allow the station to pick their preferred format. Also, echoing what Jay said, I would have it delivered to the station no later than Tuesday or Wednesday. Also, I highly recommend using FedEx or UPS for on-time delivery. I wouldn't depend on USPS delivery.

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Re: syndicated programming question

Post by Rock » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:36 am

Yeah, I gotta agree with getting it in early. The days of the part-timer doing all the dubbing is mostly over. I know for me, getting a show in early lets me get it in the system early, which is one less thing for me to worry about. :)
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Re: syndicated programming question

Post by Bar Rat » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:29 pm

Have it ready as soon as possible. If that means an early delivery one week, then that's fine. I had 9 hours of shows on my station, so the earlier I got them, the less crap I had to do on Friday before I ran out to do my second job.

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