Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I Was Late for Work, and It's NPR's Fault

by Sara N.
Are you feeling slightly off-kilter this week? Like you're always running just a little bit behind, but you're not sure why?

If you're like me, it's because NPR has changed its show clock and COMPLETELY RIPPED MY ENTIRE LIFE FROM ITS MOORINGS.

Ahem. Let me back up. More than a year ago, NPR began looking at its show clock, which controls down to the second when all of the segments run during Morning Edition and All Things Considered, from news to features to music bumpers to underwriting announcements. NPR execs say they were responding to changes in the way people listen to the radio, commute, stream on-demand music and news, and use their new gadgets, plus (as I interpret the public statements) they wanted more airplay for the program sponsors.

So here's how it's always gone down at my house: My husband is up first, and he flips on our local NPR affiliate, which is what I wake up to. While lying in bed, I can tell what time it is by what's on the air. National news briefs? It's the top of the hour. Local news stories? It's half past. Business news? It's 10 'till.

Practically speaking, this means my morning goes like this: Business news = Sweet, I have 10 more minutes to sleep. National news = Ugh, I must get in the shower. Local news = No more messing around, I need to get in my car to drive to work right now.

Starting this week? It's total anarchy, people. I don't have my rhythms down at all. News updates now come every 20 minutes, and there are more frequent local news segments. Underwriting announcements pop up at unexpected lengths and times. Longer pieces run earlier and later. My local station has even added a second host to Morning Edition. He's a welcome addition, but it can be confusing because he used to be on air during the afternoon programs.

Long story short, I fear change, although I'm sure I'll get my new morning routine down soon enough.

How about the rest of you? Anybody else struggling with their internal clocks this week?

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