Holidays are a part of TBRN’s DNA, given that the station itself launched on New Year’s Day, 2005. Since then, TBRN has made a special effort to celebrate its holidays, taking it seriously (Christmas) to mocking (Valentine’s Day). What is TBRN doing for its upcoming Christmas content, and how will holidays be handled on a go forward basis?
TBRN’s Christmas content reflects two separate pasts. For many years, Derek Lane has ran TBRN’s main Christmas automation service. Like Derek himself, Christmas Automation is goal oriented, designed to blend various forms of audio content together in an organized, representative way. His openness to suggestions and his careful curation of music, Christmas stories, amusing advertisements, and audio from TV shows is unequaled anywhere. Its success has endured, and its content only expanded, its broad scope the source of its popularity.
At the same time, HKC Radio decided to take a different, more focused approach. The staff collectively asked themselves to describe their perfect Christmas background music. It wasn’t immediately successful, but within a few years, it was well built. They didn’t want to run a chaotic “all shuffle, all the time” setup, nor a clear channel clone of generic, albeit easily backgrounded, music. They wanted to make sure that all tastes in music would be represented in a way that guaranteed a listener would hear a song they liked with in no more than 10 minutes after the listener tuned in. They also wanted it to provide character while still being commercial-free, so the idea of voicemails left by staff and characters was used.
When HKC Radio closed its doors in 2015, the difficulty in catering to fans of both projects became apparent.
“when Nick and Bob joined us at TBRN, There was no way I could create something that did all things for all people,” said Derek Lane when asked for his views. “I didn’t have the time nor the assurance that the software I use would support the interweaving of 2 very unique things, nor did I know how to promote the organized mess that would be the result.”
The solution to this problem was simple. Provide both services concurrently, expanding the Christmas content of The Beyond Radio network in order to keep both traditions alive. Jessica Silva voluntarily became the new curator of the Christmas music service, which Andre Louis would name ChristMus. Derek, free to continue his broad-scoped Christmas automation, used the tools he knows and loves to continuously better it. Jessica, on the other hand, tirelessly dug into the deeper aspects of her favorite broadcasting suite, Station Playlist, willingly upgrading it at her expense. The HKC Radio traditions had a new home, and the Station Playlist platform allowed us to add more.
Last year, a group of broadcasters and listeners met on a now defunct voice platform to hash out ideas, one of which tied both services together. ChristMus would run an A cappella Hour at 7 PM EST, followed by a Movie at 8 on the main automation. Listeners flocked to both special segments, which were well-publicized and well attended, serving as after-dinner entertainment for much of the community. The genesis was one person’s idea on a voice messaging group. That group is now permanent.
This year, We’re back, ready to run everything again. The voicemails have expanded from ChristMus to main automation on an as-needed basis. If you’d like your voice to be heard on our Christmas content, call +1-631-402-1237 to leave a family friendly greeting by no later than December 13. Look for holiday content to begin around December 18, give or take for any last minute problems. If you’d like to be a part of the holiday fun by doing more than listening or leaving voicemails, join the TBRN Holidays WhatsApp group. This group will live on through the year, being used for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, et al.
Holidays are in TBRN’s DNA. From the day the station was born through to the present, we love our holiday fun and will continue to do so. Join us near Christmas and throughout the year to celebrate with us.