Once upon a time ...
The story so far
funny thing, if this small company had existed before 1988, we would have been it's first customers... This was the year when we, at that time both very enthusiastic radio music programmers, found something that would give our jobs a completely new twist. Finally. No more boring manual music planning, repeating over and over the small repertoire of our favorite songs. Instead, much more time for record release parties, networking and... partying in general. All this became possible from one day to another thanks to a guy across the ocean. A true music lover with similar aspirations, Joe Knapp from Wisconsin, was in possession of the intellectual know-how which would make our dream come true. Together with his pal Scott Wirt, they invented a software called "MusicScan" – one of the first music scheduling tools for radio.
"MusicScan" was a true milestone in the history of radio. It profoundly changed the work procedures and methods for thousands of music programmers around the globe. And it deeply changed Rainer's and my life as well. I think it was at one of those big American broadcast shows, where we met Joe and he asked us if we thought our friends from the German radio would be interested in buying "MusicScan". So we asked them. Turns out that some of our friends in radio liked the "more record release parties – less manual music scheduling" idea as much as we did. And you know what – those very few stations (actually, it was just one … Antenne Bayern) interested in "MusicScan" were inspiration enough for us to build our company: "On Air Rundfunk Produktion und Beratung" as it was called back then. The whole adventure, as most startups, went from "I have a dream" to "The long and winding road" and back to "I have a dream". The honeymoon soon was over. Years of traveling and presenting the software followed, convention after convention, station by station. "MusicScan" became "MusicMaster". It went from MS DOS to MS Windows. "On Air Rundfunk Produktion und Beratung" became "ON AIR". More radio stations, TV channels and the groundbreaking internet in the 90s with all it's new media possibilities. Thanks to Joe Knapp, our activities went from Germany to Europe to overseas. New people, cultures, languages and challenges came into our lives. Traveling became very exciting.
It was exciting all the way around. But beside all the hoped for fame (still waiting/yet to come) or money (still waiting/yet to come) we've gained something else, something very substantial. A passion for something that we never dreamed of when we started this adventure twenty-five (25!) years ago. So many of the people we've met over the last two and a half decades became long lasting friends. Program directors, music programmers and engineers who with their smart ideas made us and our services more useful (so we hope). Partners in our industry became strong and reliable collaborators with their products, assisting us in finding new and better solutions for all. The young and very talented professionals who joined our company are almost ready to be the next leaders. Not to mention the warm, longstanding friendship with Joe Knapp and his "MusicMaster" team, which is based on mutual trust and respect.
The fancy record release parties are history, they no longer exist. We don't miss them. Not at all. Because they were replaced by exciting encounters with new people and ongoing challenging projects. They were replaced by fun and productive get-togethers with our friends around the world. It really feels fantastic to be a part of this.
Thomas & Rainer