Here in the states, we’re getting ready to kick off Fall sports, which of course, means that we need to double check that our traffic clocks are ready to go. Did you know that Aquira features unique clocks, specifically designed for sporting or any unique type of event, like a fundraiser? This week, we were joined by our resident Aquira specialist Dawn Newberry to outline how to create these special clocks, where to assign them and how to customize these log breaks in your log.
The easiest way to interpret these special Aquira clocks is to think of them as essentially overrides to your default clocks. We create generic clocks, like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.. and then we assign these daily clocks to a date, like Tuesday 9/13/22. If we ever deviate from these defaults, we don’t have to rework our default clocks, instead, we identify new clocks and override the date with your desired clock. For example, instead of the “Tuesday” clock for 9/13/22, we schedule a “Football” clock for 9/13/22. Of course, we can get even more specific and override only certain hours of the day, pending on your event’s duration.
Remember to work smarter, not harder. If you carry sports, obviously the schedule is posted well in advance. If you have a fundraiser coming up, what’s stopping you from scheduling the traffic clock outline ahead of time? These are all great time budgeting steps to save you from panicking the night before because you just realized the traffic clock structure is different.
These clocks first need to be created, so we’ll start by working within Aquira’s Setup | Clocks | Log Breaks and Clocks. Since every program requires a slight deviation from your regular programming, you may find that certain types of these events require multiple, but similar, log breaks. For example, you may have one football pregame clock, compared to a full game clock, versus post game or a Monday Night Football versus a traditional Sunday afternoon game clock. Aquira is equipped with a copy function so that Traffic Managers can create a single log break or clock, copy or duplicate it, and then adjust the log break or clock without having to reconstruct each individually. While creating your log break, remember that Aquira features custom attributes and spot classifications. Empower yourself to isolate everything in either an attribute or spot classification so that you can continue to specifically track these values in other areas of Aquira, like reporting.
Moving onto the Clock section, note that Aquira features a visual clock aid so that users can match or quickly see their clock breakdowns. Once the log breaks and clocks have been created, we can assign these clocks to the Log Format Assignment. Select your date range and station from the top right, typically most users search by a lengthy period of time for a proper outline, and then use the view to toggle between Calendar, Detailed and Clock. Note that in the Clock view, you can see the Station, Date, Start Time, Clock, End Time, Duration, Start Time (in case you wanted to return to a clock while it’s in progress, like starting a football game in the second quarter after your primary content is over), Overwrite, and additional metadata fields like Sport, Home Team, Away Team, Sports Feed and Status. This way, Traffic Managers can quickly see any potential overrides. If you were scheduling a football season, here is where you would lay out the weekly games and if there’s ever a flex event, then simply adjust the dates and save. Don’t forget that users can also create on the fly sorting by left clicking and dragging the desired column into the header above. So, if you wanted to sort the Log Format Assignments by station, left click and drag the “Station” column above, then use the + to expand the rows.
Once the Log Format Assignment has been overridden with your specialty clocks, if you pivot to the Logs module, you’ll be able to instantly see those log breaks. Don’t forget to customize your attributes with colorful visual aids so that if you are working ahead, and perhaps you notice a change in your logs, you won’t be surprised because you’ll see something like a red highlight. That should queue you that red equals football and there’s a football game scheduled in this hour. It’s also a helpful reminder that if there was a flex event and the game or fundraiser was moved, but you forgot to adjust the Log Format Assignment grid, visually, you can see the mistake, make your changes, return to the logs and again, instantly see the correct log breaks.
We have more helpful RCS Lives coming down the pipeline, each and every Thursday at 11am ET on your platform of choice: Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, or Twitter Live. Don’t forget about confirming those backups or Data Exchanges and if you want to become a Beta user, we’re always looking for programmers who want to test out the next generation of innovative radio features. GSelector 5.1 and Zetta 5.22.1 are in Beta right now. Simply reach out to your RCS contact or stop by your local radio conference, as we’re back on the road for 2022!