We could be in the early stages of big Clear Channel AM stations battling with smaller mom and pop AM stations who are looking to serve their local communities when the sun goes down. It’s an issue the NAB does not take a position on because there are many stations on both sides of this issue. Many Class A AM stations have been asking listeners to sign a petition to stop the FCC’s plan to allow other AM stations to maintain power at night.
A new organization called The AM Radio Alliance is made up of Alpha, Bonneville, CBS, Cox, Cumulus, Entercom, Family Stations, The Grand Ole Opry, Greater Media, Hearst, Hubbard, iHeart, NRG, Scripps, Townsquare, Tyler Media, and Tribune. The group of radio companies was organized to pressure the FCC to back away from its plan to allow small AM stations to maintain power at night as the Commission tries to revitalize the AM band.
The Alliance has submitted comments to the FCC asking the government agency to take the steps necessary to “truly” revitalize AM radio and avoid putting a plan in place that would damage Class A signals. The Commission has proposed allowing some AM stations to retain power at night, which Class A owners say will interfere with their signals, which have long been able to send their booming signals across many states.
The Alliance says the FCC made this decision without sufficient study and has filed these comments. The group says Class A AM stations have played invaluable roles providing the public with critical and often life-saving information in times of severe weather, natural and man-made disasters and other emergency and public safety events. The group says the FCC’s plan would make tens of millions of listeners subject to new reception-destroying interference on the AM band if the Class A stations were not protected.