Re: Efficacy of warning messages
So I used to run a radio station or two amongst other things I've done. There are two main programs used for running the station:
A scheduling system that picks the music according to a template (or clock as it's known). Also a playout and automation system that uses a running order from the scheduler to play out the music, news etc.
One station only had a one live show that was networked over several other stations. This ran at 10pm Sunday to Thursday. When that wasn't on the system was in automation. That meant it was either playing out pre-recorded shows or just music, jngles and news. The news came from IRN and there was a bleep every two seconds if the news bulletin wasn't being read. Could also be soundbites/interviews broadcast for your station's news team to use.
Basically the automation computer was in the server room and fed directly to the transmitter. If there was a live show I just filled the hours with loads of instances of a 3 minute silent song. There were top of hour markers in the template that kept the system in sync. They told the automation to fade the last song into the news jingle. It backtimed everything so that the end of the news jingle was exactly on the O'clock. It allowed for their being less music in the hour because of the DJ talk time on live shows
For the news there were also differences for a live show. The automation news item in the scheduler had a command to open the feed from IRN on the automation computer in the server room for 3 minutes. After that it closed the feed and then it played whatever was next in the running order Normally this was a jingle followed by some music. This was direct to the transmitter and post studio. The other was called something like Live Show News. It was just 3 minutes of silence and didn't have any command attached.
I was handing over this station to someone who would be running it full time. I tried to make the handover as painless as possible for the new manager. I explained how the automation worked, how to change things in the playout system etc. I was very careful to explain that the automation system would keep running during the shows. As I'd already set up a template for the show in the scheduling system it should have been a doddle.
The new manager was happy with all of that. I'd writen it down in an email too just in case. So one night they're doing it by themselves. It's a running order I've put in so should be fine. Told I'm not needed I went home and came in the next day. The new manager after I'd left had decided to change how things were done. In the scheduling system they'd deleted my running order entirely. They'd taken out the "unneccesary" top of hour markers during the show and picked the opposite news to the one they needed.
So at 22:00 there was no news for listeners to my old station for the first 30 seconds. The DJ was expecting the news to play automatically like normal. He rectified this manually in the studio by fading up IRN on the mixing desk. Then as the top of hour markers weren't there the schedule went out of sync in the server room. The automation computer opend the IRN feed as soon as it reached the news command not at the top of the hour.
So during the show there were 3 minutes of IRN bleeps an hour on top of the show. Also in one hour there was a bonus of the tail end of some interview. They weren't monitoring the off air feed in the studio so didn't know about the bleeps. The 1am news was fine though as that hour hadn't been touched. A listener had emailed what they'd heard to the station address. I sat down with the new manager and re-explained/fixed everything. I pointed out where and when to use which commands and what things were mandatory. That was the only time it happened, I made damn sure of that.