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Downs Agrees: It's A Great Day


Radio Ink has been reaching out to AM broadcasters across the country for reaction to the FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to revitalize the AM band. Ben Downs is the VP/GM of Bryan Broadcasting, a group of seven stations in Bryan-College Station, TX. He has several AM stations in his cluster and has also been chairman of the NAB AM Revitalization taskforce committee. Downs says this is great news for small- and medium-market broadcasters. Here's why.

Downs says if this moves through the comments stage quickly, there are many AM broadcasters who will regard this as the lifeline they've been looking for. "Imagine the change coming to an AM daytime licensee as they're allowed to be heard on the FM dial 24 hours a day. I'm even more encouraged that this isn't a one-and-done item.  The AM band has been abused and patched so often there is no single solution. The request by the FCC for suggestions on how to shape and plan the next steps is an acknowledgement that AM is a vital part of local community service. Now we have to implement these translators for AM stations and move to the next step: a long-term solution for all AM stations. As Commissioner Pai said, "Now the fun begins."

Downs had praise for Pai and the current commission. "As long as I have been in radio, I can't remember an FCC staff or commission that has been more responsive to broadcasters."

(11/1/2013 10:56:11 AM)
I would have to agree with Mr. Downs. As a small broadcaster, it was a pleasure to meet with Commissioner Pai. While this proposal may not be perfect with everyone, I feel this is a great chance for everyone to have a reasonable discussion and bring up ideas without all of the bashing that we have seen in years past. We all can agree the status quo won't work so lets work to find some reasonable solutions!

- brian winnekins-co-owner WRDN Radio Durand, WI

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