Regarding Logging

Been a while since CFMU's been here...hello again...:D

Looking for those who have recently (last three or four years) received CRTC requests for logs/sound files. I know that about 10 years ago, the CRTC had become very strict, and there was a lot of concern (at the Halifax NCRC, I recall) about compliance.

We are looking at going digital with our CRTC logs (our SOCAN logs already are) and I’m wondering a couple of things. Is the CRTC still asking for all the same information? Has anything about this reportage changed? If anyone has been in contravention, what kind of things did they tag you on? What’s the general climate over at the commission, anyway?

My understanding for CRTC logs is they want the logs to match the audio – meaning what goes on the air, including talk breaks, must be recorded in the logs exactly as the material aired. We’re trying to figure out how to get the system to automatically process and record pre-recorded files, like promos and pre-recorded programs, so a report can be generated after the fact….

Anyone able to help with this vague query? LOL

The CRTC still requires all the same information.  If you haven't yet read the logs section of the Regulatory Survival Guide (in the members-only section of the NCRA website), you might find it helpful.  It describes the precise logging requirements and provides some discussion about logging practices.  If you don't have access, contact the NCRA office.  
 
The only thing that has changed is that written logs now only have to be kept for 28 days, as opposed to the old 1 year requirement.  That said, I would recommend keeping them for at least an extra week or two in case a complaint comes in at the last minute about something that would otherwise be deleted imminently.  
 
My understanding is that they are mainly strict about (a) whether the logs are reasonably complete (they don't have to be perfect but major errors like missing shows or consistently omitting required fields would be noticed), (b) whether music logs properly delineate content categories for each music track (so the percentage of CanCon can be calculated), and (c) whether the logs accurately track the most important content requirements, like CanCon, locally produced spoken word, hits (for campus stations), station IDs, news, and advertising.  I have not seen them make an issue of anything else when they do spot checks (e.g. for stations that have shortened renewal periods).  But I would still recommend incorporating all of the fields set out in the radio regulations because that will proactively ensure that you are not found in non-compliance, which is a huge hassle to deal with.
 
And yes, they do want the logs to match the audio, although I suspect they would only make an issue if there are significant inaccuracies (e.g. entire shows missing) that would make it impossible to match the two.  So where there is a promo or ad or station ID the logs should say so, and where there is spoken word or music programming (pre-recorded or live), the name of the show and a brief description should be provided along with the correct content category, and the times should also be included.  A lot of stations now have automated logs that incorporate both live and pre-recorded content, and I'm sure some of them can share their methods with you.  I assume most have a database with the relevant info about each pre-recorded piece, use playlists to schedule them, and generate logs based on playlist content.  
 
Note that I am blending the two types of logs here in my comments - there are the required logs set out in s. 8 of the Radio Regulations, and the requests for information in s. 9.  Stations have different ways of recording this information - some combine the two and others keep them separate - and technically speaking stations only have to provide the stuff in s. 9 (about music) "on request" whereas they have to keep track of the stuff in s. 8 all the time, but in my mind there is little practical difference between the two because it would be nearly impossible to try to assemble s. 9 content in response to a request if you're not already collecting it.  The legislation is here if you want to see it:  http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-86-982/page-3.html#h-10
 
If you want to show the NCRA regulatory committee a sample of your logs, we'd be happy to review and give you feedback.
 
I don't know if that's helpful, but I'd be happy to answer more specific questions if you have any.

Thanks for the response about logging.

 

To those of you who use digital show logs (i.e. signing in for shows, station IDs and such - not music logs unless maybe you combine them)

 

Can you tell me what you use? Something custom? Something purchased? We have a guy who did our music logging & digital library but I'm looking for other options.

 

Please advise if you can, love to get a feeling for what's out there.

CFRC 101.9 FM at Queen's in Kingston, Ontario uses a customized digital logging system created for us to log our ads, sponsorships, show promos, station IDs, spoken word mosaics, music by category etc.  Each of our on air programmers sign in with their own passwords, create their own program logs for each show.  The program we had developed also auto-tabulates CanCon and new music for each program and for each day so we can ensure compliance.  The system is not without its glitches, but we find it vary useful to keep tabs on our content.
 
All the Best from snowy snowy Kingston!

Every thing we do here at 95.3 Creek FM CHXL is done in Selector, from our Talk Show, to our music hours. Everything is in the logs.

CFRC's system sounds great! Wish it could work for us in Saint John, but I don't think many of our volunteers would like having to keep track of passwords and such.

 
Our programmers are split fairly evenly between extreme tech literacy and tech aversion, so we're trying to design a logsheet that can work for both groups. The best solution we found was a fillable PDF (attached). We're planning on having a blank version on our broadcast PC for programmers to fill out, and have a copy available for download straight from our website (for those programmers who want to fill out their playlists beforehand). They'll be responsible for saving it to a logsheet folder/emailing it to our program director. 

The sheet is sort of half automated, as it registers how many checkboxes are clicked for things like CanCon, Hits, etc. Our programmers will still need to input their total number of songs played, but they won't need to calculate the percentage anymore. 

This was also relatively easy for us to develop, all we did was lay it out in word, create a PDF form, and the rest was just Javascript for the checkboxes and the percentage calculations. We hope it'll be as easy for our volunteers to adjust to as it was for staff to develop. 

It's not the best, and it's definitely not the nicest looking, but our volunteers have responded positively to prototypes, and we're looking forward to the NCRA review committee's thoughts on it. We're hoping to roll it out this spring and make it our standard form of logging in place of paper logs. 

Let me know what you all think!

 
That's a nice manual logsheet. As you note it is partially automated, mainly for CRTC compliance checking. For me, any solution I would consider changing to would also have to help automate charting as well. If you could lift the new tracks info from each page and combine it into a spreadsheet so you could sort and pick out multiple plays even if you had to do the adding yourself, that could work. 

That's a great suggestion, but I wouldn't know where to begin to make it happen. 

 
Is there someway to link multiple PDFs (however many we have for a given week of programming) to a spreadsheet? I'm envisioning it functioning similar to how you can have a google form's submissions automatically added to a google sheet. Anyone have any ideas?

There's a lot of ideas related to our eventual new logsheet, and automatic charting/data gathering is one of them, as well as automatically uploading these to our website (an idea put forward by one of our board members). Hopefully once we actually settle on the logsheet we can start looking into these kinds of things.

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