Meinungen und Wissen zum Thema "Radio's Flow"

Nicht offen für weitere Antworten.
Hallo liebe Radio-Kollegen!

Ich studiere gerade in London an der University Of Westminster "Radio Production". In einem meiner Theory-Modules ist die Frage für meine nächste Hausarbeit die folgende: "When we talk of 'radio's flow', what do we mean? Give examples."
Ist die Frage klar? Ich dachte ein paar Denkansätze von Profis wären doch sehr nützlich und ich möchte mich schon mal im Voraus für eure Hilfe bedanken.

Long live radio!!! :)
AW: Meinungen und Wissen zum Thema "Radio's Flow"

Weiche Übergänge, stimmiges Tempo. Der ganze Kram wirkt "wie aus einem Guss" trotz seiner Unterschiedlichkeit. ZB schnelles Bett, zügige Spreche; ruhiges Bett, ruhige Spreche; zwei Sprecher: Tempi sind aufeinander abgestimmt, wodurch es natürlich klingt; folgen zwei sehr unterschiedlich schnelle Titel aufeinander, wird das zB durch ein Klangelement aufgefangen, das den Tempowechsel durchführt und dadurch beim Hören den Übergang erleichtert (Transition). Beispiel Beitrag: Sprecher A spricht gemäßigt, Sprecher B/O-Tongeber tut es auch, heißt, der Sprecher eines Beitrages muss sich auf das nicht beeinflussbare Sprechtempo des O-Ton-Gebers einstellen, die Pause zwischen beiden ist entsprechend lang/kurz. Das mal auf die Schnelle. Hilft es weiter?
AW: Meinungen und Wissen zum Thema "Radio's Flow"

Dann gibts noch das Prinzip der beiden Ebenen:
Oben Text, Melodie, alles, was man bewusst anhört und dem man interessiert zuhört.
Unten Groove, Rhythmus, Klangflächen.

Zum "Flow" gehört nach diesem Prinzip, dass die obere Ebene nicht unterbrochen wird, und ein Aussetzten der unteren Ebene (Stopset) bewusst eingesetzt werden, also nach inhaltlichen Gesichtspunkten.

Ich nehme an, dass jede Station (oder jeder Radioproduzent, jeder Moderator) seine eigene Auffassung vom Flow hat und wie er ein fließendes Programm herstellt und ob er das überhaupt will.
AW: Meinungen und Wissen zum Thema "Radio's Flow"

Vielen Dank liebe Kollegen für eure Hilfe. Ihr habt mir weitergeholfen!
Laut meiner Fachliteratur ist da aber noch mehr hinter dem Gedanken des "flow". Was? Wenn ihr des Englischen mächtig seid, dann lest euch doch einfach meinen essay durch! :D Danke nochmal!

Module Code: 2MED427.2004.2
Name: xxx
Question: When we talk of “radio’s flow, what do we mean. Give examples.

Radio is a neverending ‘flow’, being broadcast 24 hours, 7 days a week - live. All the items of a radio programme are mixed, dead air is an unexcusable mishap for broadcasters. But there is more behind this concept of ‘flow’ than meets the ear…

Let us imagine switching on the radio, our favourite station, and not having a clue what the show is about, not having a clue when and if news will be broadcast and what kind of music will be played.
It is basically unimaginable. Because a station like that does no longer exist in modern ‘format radio’ times. Format radios attract a certain target audience and this audience seems to stick by ‘their’ chosen station: A survey conducted in May 1994 showed that “most listeners listen to an average of under two stations (…) per week. [Millwood Hargrave 1994: 5] Format radios have a fixed programme schedule, to which their regular listeners are used to. Just after after a series of significant changes in BBC national radio, a respondent in this survey said: “You get used to it (a station and its presenter), don’t you, and then they change it all around and it’s just not the same” [Milwood Hargrave 1994: 10]
Listeners expect format radio stations to keep their established programming as they have become used to it.
“Alterations made to the station’s style or scheduling created resentment, particularly if the respondent’s listening routine was affected.” [Milwood Hargrave 1994: 27]

And this is where narratives and ‘radio’s flow’ come into play.
It is about the way a station sounds: For example the way in which elements of the programme are mixed, the pace, the jingles and the music and so on, and the certain pattern of programme items being broadcast at a particular time of the day and the week.
A station with a certain format thus has got a certain flow. ‘Capital FM’ ‘flows’ more quickly than ‘BBC Radio 2’. On ‘Capital’ the reports are shorter, the news beds are faster, the presenters speak more quickly and lively and of course the music is faster and mixed in a faster way. As described in ‘Understanding Broadcasting’, “each” (station) “seeks to attract a small segment of the audience with its type of music and carries its specialization all day long. The ‘sound’ of the station is much the same whenever one tunes in.” [Foster 1978: 92]
Raymond Williams in 1974 was the first person to claim that “the flow of messages, programmes, commercials, trailers and continuity announcements are the key to broadcasting’s impact” [Barnard 2000: 187] If the items of a radio programme would not relate to each other, if they would not be in a logical, linear order which creates suspense and if the whole outcome of a radio station would not be coherent, it would be impossible to identify with such a station. And that is what advertisers, that keep commercial radio stations alive, are looking for: Regular listeners who identify with their station and do not change the frequency when advertising is broadcast. Through a particular, fixed pattern of programme items, the appropriate ‘flow’ and proper narratives programmers try to satisfy the needs of their target audience. According to Eugene S. Foster, this format programming started to dominate the radio landscape in the time around 1970 to 1976: “Radio’s emphasis is primarily on serving the music and informational needs of its audiences. The key to programming is ‘format’.” [Foster 1978: 73 ] Format “(…) radio tends to offer not programmes but programming, which can be joined at a point convenient to the listener, enjoyed for a variable length of time and left without loss of any vital ingredient.” [Milwood Hargrave 1994: 38] This means, that there is a continous flow of music and programme items, which can be understood, even if one one only tunes in quickly because they stand alone, though they are connected to other items and because the regular listener has heard the same or a similar item before. Let us come back to programme items, that are positioned in a particular time slot of a particular show on a particular day. Not only do those items have to be placed in a similar everyday order but also should this timing go along with the needs and occupation of the target audience at a particular time of the day. So, as figures show, [Barnard 2000: 189] at both ends of the working day, radio reaches most listeners. Those working listeners have certain needs that should be considered: For example in the morning, after just having woken up, listeners want to be informed about the weather they are going to face when they leave their houses, they want to know if there are any traffic jams on their ways to work, and, of course they want to be cheered up still being tired by listening to entertaining presenters and their favourite music. The German public service radio station ‘SWR3’ announces on its homepage that the morning show presenters would talk about topics that are important at school and work, that are new, fun and that everyone can relate to. [, accessed 8th March 2005] The morning audience also prefers a certain ‘flow’, fast, uplifting and awakening. This can, as mentioned above, be achieved by driving the desk in an appropriate way, using the right music, the right jingles and the right presenters speaking in an appropriate way. At night, in contrast, the ‘flow’ can be calmer, with more in-depth information, specialist music programmes, softer music and more relaxed presentation. That is exactly what happens on ‘SWR3’, as I would like to stick to this example, where from 10pm until 12pm the specialist music programme, called ‘SWR 3 Luna’ is broadcast. New CDs are introduced, live recordings of concerts and information about music history are inserted and so on. The presentation is more smooth and the sound and ‘flow’ of the show is distinctly different from this of the morning show. [, accessed 8th March 2005] The programmer should nevertheless not merely think about the wants of the station’s audience at a certain time. He should also take into consideration the competition’s program and if it may possibly be more attractive for the target audience.

Coming back to the ‘flow’, which creates the certain sound and ‘feeling’ of a particular radio station slot. How is it actually created? The basic pillar is the time. “The radio day does not reflect on or mimic the passage of time, it lives within it.” [Barnard 2000: 197] Radio is live, it delivers up-to date news, reports about current events and specific reports according to a certain time of the day. In order to give every slot this ‘feeling’ of a certain time of a day, the content of programming of course is important. Radio is a time-based medium and its narratives are linear. There is always a pointing forward (through the presenter or through ‘promotion trailers’) in a radio programme, every bit of the programme, both in an hour and over the period of a whole day, builds up on top of each other. This makes the listener excited and willing to continue listening. For example: A news story having started in the morning and being treated more in-depth during drive-time. Or the creating of a climax during a show, where a quiz can be solved by listeners calling in. Listeners wanting to know the answer will be forced to listen until they know the solution of the quiz if the presenter builds up a proper tension. [Hendy 2000: 78-87] Another important aspect to consider in this context of pointing forward and connecting program items is the integration of advertisement. Especially for commercial radio stations, which necessarily need to build their programming around advertisement slots. That is why advertisements are interwoven into the programme: The presenter points forward which song will be played after the advertisement, or for example on ‘Capital FM’, the advertisement slogan of a company is integrated in the traffic update jingle, saying “Capital FM Travel with 02, see what you can do”. The advertisement thereby is totally integrated in the imaging of the station, in its sound, in its flow. What is also tried to be done, in order to make the listener listening for as long as possible, is the blurring of different program items, in order to connect everything. An example for this is the use of music beds which a variety of commercial stations add to their news. They are supposed to thwart the change of music before the news and the exclusive use of speech during the news.

Nevertheless, in this structured format, there should ideally always be some space to surprise the listener, so that he does not get bored, so that he or her has the feeling “his or her” station does not stagnate, that it is run by entertaining, creative people that come up with fresh ideas every single day in order to entertain “me” in new ways every day and every week. Format radio and and a regulated format should not hinder the freedom and thus the joy radio brings about.


1) Barnard, Stephen (2000). Studying Radio. London: Arnold Publishers Ltd
2) Foster, Eugene S. (1978). Understanding Broadcasting. London: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company
3) Gripsrud, Jostein (2002). Understanding Media Culture. London: Arnold Publishers Ltd
4) Hargrave, Andrea Millwood (1994). Radio & Audience Attitudes. London : John Libbey & Company Ltd
5) Hendy, David (2000). Radio In The Global Age. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd
6) Hilmes, Michele; Loviglio, Jason (2002). Radio Reader. London: Routledge
7) Hilmes, Michele (1997). Radio Voices (American Broadcasting, 1922-1952). London: University of Minnesota Press
8) McLeish, Robert (1999). Radio Production. Oxford: Focal Press
9) Paulu, Burton (1981). Television And Radio In The United Kingdom. London: The Macmillan Press Ltd
10) Short, Theo; Waghorn, Richard (1993). Take To The Air (The Guide To Setting-Up Your Own Radio Station). Leeds: Trinity And All Saints

·, accessed 8th March 2005
AW: Meinungen und Wissen zum Thema "Radio's Flow"

Zitat von Der_Radioaktivist:
Laut meiner Fachliteratur ist da aber noch mehr hinter dem Gedanken des "flow". Was? Wenn ihr des Englischen mächtig seid, dann lest euch doch einfach meinen essay durch!
Der Essay ist wirklich interessant! Allerdings erinnert mich o.g Vorgehensweise doch sehr an den geschätzten Teilnehmer "WDR 2", der vor einiger Zeit dadurch im Forum auffiel, daß er Aufgaben zum Programmschema von WDR 2 stellte und sie kurz darauf selber beantwortete!
Nicht offen für weitere Antworten.