Every year, programmers turn on holiday tunes earlier and earlier. In many markets, multiple stations battle it out to win the season. It seems like a great idea. But what is the right approach for your station? Well, just in time for holiday programming, Tracy Johnson Media Group has published an all-new Christmas Programming Guide eBook.

Last year, more than 800 stations in America flipped to All-Christmas and some broke all-time records for the highest ratings in their markets. One market (Tampa) had three All-Christmas stations that commanded more than 25% of the market’s listening. With those results, it seems like a great idea for every station. But is it? And if you’re not The Christmas station, what should the station sound like? Do you just sacrifice the Fall and Holiday rating periods and wait for the new year? Don’t do that.

Finding the right solution for your station during the holidays is hard. There are dozens of variables. Fortunately, our Christmas Programming Guide can help.

The eBook is packed with detailed research and analysis with recommendations that will help you craft a terrific holiday strategy. it’s loaded with programming advice, ideas, and tips for every radio station and personality, regardless of format. We walk you through important decisions for programming, promotions, contesting, and even scheduling personalities during this busy season.

The Holiday Programming Guide

The first – and most critical – decision for most programmers is how much Christmas music to play, and when to start playing it. This eBook walks you through every scenario with advice for how much to play, when to start, and even the songs that work best.  There’s clear, direct advice for all stations and formats. Spoiler alert: Some stations/formats should not even consider All-Christmas and a few should avoid Christmas music completely!

But the guide covers more than music. Great stations capture the mood of the holidays between the songs. Find out how to wrap your brand image in tinsel and sprinkle Christmas magic on existing contests, games, and promotions.

Perhaps most importantly, learn how to inspire personalities to avoid Christmas fatigue. The book is full of fresh new ideas to energize the holidays with major and minor promotions and even a terrific list of 30 can’t-miss Christmas topics for personalities who may be stuck in a creative rut.

It’s all explained and presented in a clear, easy-to-follow style and backed by ratings and research.

Here’s a quick video tour:


Here’s a sample of what you get in the guide:

  • Should your station go to an All-Christmas format? Who should and who shouldn’t?
  • If not, how much Christmas music should you play? Who should avoid holiday music completely?
  • How to use holiday programming as a marketing tool.
  • Tactics to introduce a format change.
  • When to turn on the Christmas tunes. How soon is too soon?
  • How much Christmas music is too much? How much is not enough to even bother?
  • What songs should you play? Should you play traditional or contemporary songs? How big should the playlist be? And what are the best-testing songs to include?
  • Programming tips for all stations, whether flipping to All-Christmas music or not!
  • Power tips for stations to decorate their brand with imaging and promotion and wrestle holiday images away from All-Christmas stations.
  • The power of using personalities to connect emotionally with listeners through the holiday experience.
  • How programmers can inspire personalities to stay focused and enhance the holiday presence.
  • 30 proven topics for personalities to use-one for every day leading up to Christmas.
  • Don’t forget about the online audience! How to extend the brand image to your website and social media platforms.
  • Special Christmas programming ideas that will stand out and in some cases, wrestle the holiday image away from an all-Christmas competitor.
  • Promotions that work for the holidays! Get information on the most effective major and minor promotions.
  • How to turn regular contests and games into holiday promotion and marketing weapons!
  • Post-Christmas programming and promotion steps to plan now that will maintain the holiday momentum into the new year.
  • How to take advantage of lazy competitors coasting through the post-holiday dead zone (Christmas to New Year’s Day) with easy-to-implement tips.


The Holiday Programming Guide eBook is an invaluable resource for every broadcaster. It’s specially designed for programmers and personalities to make smart strategic and tactical decisions that will resonate with listeners and produce the best possible results for the fall and holiday rating periods and beyond.

This book will energize your team and focus your decisions this holiday season and for years to come.


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