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Saving The AM Band is a Very Hot Topic



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(10/2/2012 10:26:01 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
FM Translators are a great short term fix for AM stations. What should also be taken into account though is the fact that FM translators are by nature a secondary service and are limited to 250 watts. I believe the correct approach is a two pronged one wherein FM translators are used to "bridge the gap' between now and when receivers are ubiquitous which could receive a 'new AM band', a build out which could take 15 to 20 years.
- Ben Smith
(10/2/2012 1:34:49 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
If someone buys a regularly-licensed radio station, he or she is assumed to have proprietary ownership. Nobody can site a co-channel or adjacent channel station and put it on the air or boost its power without taking a previously-owned outlet into account. With translators, this doesn't seem to be the case. In Lawrence, Mass, an FM translator had to move to another frequency when an existing wide-coverage station claimed it was interfered with. What's to keep that from happening elsewhere?
- Laurence Glavin
(10/2/2012 1:15:52 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content

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(10/2/2012 11:33:34 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
I have a 2000 watt AM in a county of 100,000. The only other local station is a 1000 watt AM down the street. Neither of these stations cover more than about 40% of the land area of our county and that kills the possibilities for good local news coverage, high school sports, emergency coverage because we can't reach enough of our local population to (1) Be profitable and (2) Reach the residents. Instead of all the LPFM's the entire FM spectrum should be frozen and reallocated to gover EVERY AM in the nation an FM frequency with the goal of doing away with AM and reallocating that band for something else.
- Chuck
(10/2/2012 10:59:02 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
AM is dying of neglect more than anything else. I have put on two new AM radio stations this year in my own name and I can assure you that the listeners are glued to them. I get continuous comments like "don't change ANYTHING! I am never going to listen to anything else again!" and both of these new stations are MUSIC stations on AM. I care about the music. I listen & care about the sound quality...not whether it is digital or stereo or such hype but whether it is satisfying to the listeners.
- Tim Cutforth
(10/2/2012 10:17:28 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
There are FM Translators available for many AM stations, we (First Ventures Capital Partners) would consider selling or leasing some of our translators, and I know of other groups that also would consider selling some of their translator.

If you have good programming that people want, but are limited by the AM band, translators are great.

If your programming isn't desired, then how you get your "product" to listeners really doesn't matter

- Andy Collins
(10/2/2012 8:13:39 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Please, please, please! Will somebody do something to help current AM operators survive? I own WOBL AM, a 1,000 watt highly directional station my father built in 1971. I’ve worked here for 32 years and we were a stand-alone in a highly competitive market 30 miles west of Cleveland for our first 31 years of existence. Ten years ago we purchased WDLW, a very distressed 500 watt AM and resurrected it with live and local programming. We’ve survived by trying to be pillars of the community. We donate over $700,000 worth of air-time (between the two stations) to non-profits and community service organizations, we volunteer on boards and we stay in front of the community by doing six to ten remote broadcasts each week.

We also feel abandoned by technology, the NAB and the FCC. I keep marveling at the fact that for all the new technology, we in the AM band have benefited very little. It’s a rare person under 30 who listens (or will admit they listen) to AM. They keep talking about an FM radio chip in cell phones…Hey! What about us! I’ve wondered if so little attention is paid to us because the FCC is waiting for us to abandon the AM band all together and migrate to the internet which might create another opportunity to generate revenue by auctioning the AM band off for some other purpose? When I’m out in the community, one question I’m always asked is, “Does anybody still listen to AM?”. Though I know they still do, I wonder to myself for how much longer. I also wonder why nobody seems to recognize or care that a wonderful and important asset is withering away.
Doug Wilber, WOBL AM and WDLW AM

- Doug Wilber


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