Program Field Rules


Rating is the most important indicator for how much effort and information is available for a program. Programs rated 1 or more generally deserve a complete entry. Programs like news and weather just need basic information. Ratings are computed from listening use, tunability and many other factors.

Program Field Rules

Full Title

  • Full program title as listed by the station.
  • Sometimes the host is the same as the title.
  • Qualify common titles with the station name (e.g. “News (KQED)”).
  • Text should be proper case with the first letter of each word in capital letters. Use no punctuation except when part of the official title (e.g. “Money!”).
  • Remove periods and commas.
  • Date-specific programs like a sports game should not be entered as programs. Only enter recurring titles as programs. See segment and event rules for how and when to enter one-time events like ball games or daily program topics.
  • Remove a host name from the title unless they are the same.

Short Title

  • The shortest possible string to represent the program (e.g. one to three proper keywords that communicate the program when displayed in the station grid schedule).
  • If the title includes both the host and program name, then leave best known keyword (e.g. “Rush”, “Fresh Air”).
  • Remove common words (e.g. of, the, for, and, show, program, best).
  • Consider the station format to decide which words are key. On a jazz station, the word “jazz” is not key.
  • Don’t include qualifiers like the station name or sponsor.
  • Text should be proper case with the first letter of each word in capital letters. Use no punctuation except when part of the official title (e.g. “Money!”).


  • Look for the host in the program title and description
  • Multiple hosts should be separated by a semicolon “;” (e.g. Sam Jones; Mary Mendoza). Don’t include “and” or “&”.
  • Try to get real names, both first and last. Do not use names like “The Coach.”
  • Text should be proper case with the first letter of each word in capital letters. Use no punctuation except when part of the official title (e.g. “Money!”).


  • Look for a description under the home or about pages on the program’s Web site.
  • One to four sentences summarizing the program and host.
  • The first sentence should be a three-five word summary with a period.
  • Replace HTML characters with text: “&#8217″ becomes ‘
  • Don’t include the live days and time information. Instead, add time and date information to the fields below.
  • Don’t include radio station information not directly related to the program.
  • If a description of the program is not available, use a short biography of the host.
  • Remaining text should be rich with unique keywords to help associate similar programs together. Look through the description given, and pull out the best sentences that offer a clear synopsis. Include text that would distinguish the program from other similar programs.
  • Include line breaks to improve readability on longer descriptions for important programs with more complete text.
  • Text should follow US English grammar, punctuation and spelling. The style should be written for the audience appropriate to the program.

Air Time

  • This is the local time of day that the program airs live. For a local program, it is the same as the schedule time. New programs added get the first schedule start time as live time.
  • Syndicated programs may be delayed on certain stations. If the program is on more than one station, set the live time from the program page — not the station schedule page.
  • When setting a live time, be sure to include a time zone for the program.


  • The length of a program in minutes. The system will later populate this field value if you leave it set at 0.
  • You can enter time shortcut values like 30m or 1h.

Days of Week

  • The normal live air schedule entered the same as the schedule 12345 = M-F. If left empty, the system will later populate the value.

Host Location

  • The City, State and Country where the program is broadcast from. This is usually found from the program contact information.
  • The default location is set from the station. However, programs may not be local to the station (e.g. syndicated programs seldom match the station’s location).
  • Use spelling to match the language of the station (e.g. Munich if an English broadcast; München if German).
  • Program contact information is stored apart from the program contact location. However, the two are usually the same location.
  • Countries are listed commonly first and then alphabetically.

Time Zone

  • The time zone of the program which matches the program location.
  • The default time zone is set from the station for local programs.
  • Common time zones are listed first, then ordered by GMT offset.


  • The primary language spoken on the program. The default selection is inherited from the station


  • The URL is important; a good one will usually include all the key information required.
  • Check the radio schedule page for a link to a dedicated program Web site.
  • The RadioMill “Google” button will search for “title”+”host”+”radio”. Or, you can manually search the same with the title in quotes plus the word “radio.” When a site or dedicated page is available, it is often displayed within the first 50 results.
  • For local programs only aired on a single station, the station summary may be the only detail available. In this case, enter the URL for the station’s schedule page.
  • Be sure the page found is for the same person or program.
  • Don’t use a local station page version when the program is available on multiple pages.
  • Don’t include session-specific detail on a URL (e.g. “LIST&inetworkid=3&start=8/24/03%20).


  • Use a URL that lists daily topics and guests. Otherwise, leave it empty.
  • If the main program page includes daily information, enter it in this field.


  • Where a new logo is needed, look for an image representing the program. A colorful logo is best, but often the logo is a photograph of the host.
  • If no specific logo is suitable for the program, enter the logo name from the station. Usually local news and weather programs will share the station’s logo.
  • Share the same logo across affiliated programs. For example, “best of” programs use the same logo as the normal weekday program.
  • The data entered for this field is a filename. The default file name is the letter “p”+program number, for example “p2367.png”. The actual files are formatted for different sizes and styles in a different process.


  • Internal comments. This field is typically unused.

Parser URLs

  • A link to feeds used to acquire daily topic details about the program.
  • Daily topics are valuable information for on-demand listening and describing the program. Always look for a podcast feed for the program, and include it.
  • Podcast feeds should be public rather than specific to iTunes.
  • Other non-podcast links are used by special software to grab topical information. See the topicimporter help for details about managing these.


Good genres are especially important:

  • Print the genre tree as a reference to review and understand available genres.
  • Use the most specific genre that fits (i.e. the deepest appropriate genre in the tree). For example, if appropriate, use “outdoors” instead of the more generic “sports.”
  • Add genres in order of priority. The first genre listed is primary and often the only one displayed. It is also the one used for suggestions.
  • Add no more than three genres.
  • Add a genre that is obvious from the title (e.g. “Talkin’ Bass” is “fishing”).
  • Don’t include the parent genre since it is automatically included in searches.
  • Only use general genres (e.g. talk, music, miscellaneous and variety) when you have no better option. Never mix these broad genres with a specific category.
  • General programs should have a single genre “variety.”
  • Don’t use broad genre’s like “talk” or “variety” together with a more specific genre. The specific version is enough.


  • Select any major networks or syndication companies (e.g. NPR, BBC, Premier Networks) the program is part of (often listed under the contact page).
  • Affiliations are often best set from the major affiliation sites. Confirm each individual program.
  • Major radio stations that syndicate programs may also be affiliates. For example, “The Connection” produced by WBUR is syndicated in many markets.


  • Programs not active mean they are not currently listed on any schedule. Maintenance of this field is automatic.


  • The program number of a replacement for the current program. This field is used to consolidate information about this program into the one entered. See details on program de-duplication.

Program Fields Currently Hidden


  • The URL to a page showing a program clock with offset, fixed and floating breaks (see below). This page is usually only available from the syndication company Web site.

Start Time Offset

  • The time in minutes and seconds from typical scheduled start time to when the program actually begins. Many programs are scheduled to start on the hour but start at 6 minutes after the hour. Six minutes and thirty seconds would be written :06:30.

Fixed Breaks

  • A series of times when the program always breaks for network time. These only apply to nationally syndicated programs. Each break is in the format hh:mm:ss(mm:ss) with the offset and duration of the break. Individual breaks are separated by a semicolon. For example, a break between 28:00 and 32:30 and a second hard break between 43:30 and 45:00 would be :28:00(04:30);43:30(1:30).
  • Programs > 1 should update the series for each hour. Programs > 1 hour use the duration from the last hourly break to set the beginning of the next hour’s segment.

Floating Breaks

  • These are for soft breaks and are encoded the same as Fixed Breaks.


  • This section is for programs that are streamed apart from the local station. For example, the program Web site may offer live streaming or archived programs. Enter the live streaming URL information. If the most current program is available on demand from the same link every day/week, enter that URL.
  • See the station URL field for extracting the information and setting details.


  • The main contact for the program. Multiple contacts may be added.
  • The default name is the program host. The default location is from the program location.
  • Enter the internal phone number available, not on-air call-in — unless no other number is available.  This is usually a number for the program manager or advertising sales from program’s contact page.
  • Ignore this field for general local programs like news and weather.
  • If no contact information is entered, the station contact is assumed.


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Use an existing program:

  • when the title and host are similar enough that you can see the program is the same
  • when the program is popular on many stations; the URL is the same; the title or host is unique enough (e.g. “Scuba Radio”); or, the host name is unique and the same.
  • for undefined time slots, like “special programming” or generic “infomercial.”

Do not use an existing program

  • for sharing local news programs between stations.
  • for “best of” programs. (These are unique from the base daily program.)
  • if the station qualifies the program name (e.g. “Afternoon News” is a different program than “Morning News”).
  • when the program is obviously unaffiliated with the existing program (e.g. another country/language; a different format).
  • for a different Infomercial sponsor.

Schedule URL

  • This field is from the station entry and shared for all the schedule records. Enter the URL where the main schedule is listed.
  • Sometimes listed as “Schedule,” “Lineup,” or “Programming” on a program’s Web page
  • If a different page is listed every day, include the page for Monday.