The plan to save the AM radio band has been years in the making and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who will keynote Radio Ink‘s Hispanic Radio Conference next month, has been a loud voice hoping to bring the dying band back to life. Last Friday, when the Commission opened a window for Class C and Class D AM stations to obtain FM translators and move them up to 250 miles, over 400 applications were submitted. That’s one out of every 10 AM stations in the country.
Pai says the effort is off to an incredibly strong start. “These FM translators will help struggling AM broadcasters increase their audience and advertising revenue. They will also be a short-term bridge as we address the AM band’s long-term technical problems. Given the strong demand for FM translators, the Media Bureau’s Audio Division has a lot of work ahead of it processing these applications. But I am confident that our talented staff will complete this task with their characteristic skill and professionalism.”