Elisabeth Lucie Baeten, known as a ‘Flemish social media phenomenon’, unveils a remarkable media secret in the latest episode of the podcast ‘Behind the scenes’. At De Tijdloze, the digital radio sister of Studio Brussels, they apparently miscalculated by a day at the start of De Tijdloze Countdown – the extensive list. The result was that halfway through the list, more than 100 songs were suddenly skipped. Even more impressive: it was barely noticed…
De Tijdloze, together with Radio2 Benebene, is one of the two former non-stop streams within the VRT radio package that have taken cautious steps towards a full-fledged digital channel in recent years. Both streams also received a spot on DAB+ and programs presented here and there. At De Tijdloze there are only four hours presented, two hours of Roos Van Acker in the morning and two hours of Stijn Van de Voorde in the late afternoon. In addition, Elke Van Mello still does two hours on Saturday morning, but all other hours are still non-stop.
Except at the end of the year, because then, in the run-up to the Tijdloze 100 on December 31, the Timeless Countdown has already been warmed up for two weeks, with a few thousand songs that were dropped from the list and with the help of many BVs and ‘ friends of Studio Brussels’ as guest presenters. This year, the digital radio channel started the chart on Monday, December 18 in the morning with the song 2283, ‘Get Ready’ by Rare Earth. The complete list can be found here.
The intention was of course to reach number 1 in the evening of December 31. In the first week this happened at a daily rate of about 156 songs. But apparently there was a serious calculation error somewhere, because if you do 156 times 14 days, you end up with approximately 2,184 numbers, while the list started at number 2,283.
The cure? On December 26 – when the Countdown switched from De Tijdloze to Studio Brussels – more than 100 songs were suddenly skipped. Normally the list had to be picked up in the morning at number 1,035, but Jente Pironet (singer of Portland) and Joris Brys already started at number 933, Bryan Adams with ‘Run to You’.
Some things actually came to light via the (independent) fan website Timeless.rocks, which we had honestly never heard of ourselves. In practice, it is mainly a database where all data from 36 years of De Tijdloze are stored, supplemented with a forum. Only a few of those ‘die hards’ made the comment on that forum ‘Wow, are they suddenly 100 songs further away? Did they spend the night?‘
However, we had to wait for the ‘major media leak’ until the (video) podcast ‘Behind the scenes’ by Pieterjan Marchand and Jeff Bronder, where Elisabeth Lucie Baeten unpacks the juicy story (see the fragment below). Baeten himself also did a guest presentation for a few hours. Her explanation during the podcast may be somewhat intertwined, but in essence the general outline of her story is correct.
The fact that Studio Brussels got away with this almost unnoticed at the time – you have to put the ‘consternation’ on Tijdloze.rocks that Baeten talks about into perspective – says a lot about the niche content of a digital radio channel like De Tijdloze.