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Are You Trying to Kill Off AM Radio?



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(11/20/2012 6:05:42 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Except in special circumstances or niche situations, most stand-alone AM operators applaud the thought/opportun-
ity to have an FM translator. This is
an issue that has been suggested and debated since the 1980s when FM started to become prevalent.

The requirement of separate programming
is not the issue. Just about anything unique that an AM might do will be duplicated on FM once the AM has proven it. Then the AM is "down for the count"
again.

One writer suggests that we downgraded
WVJS, Owensboro, Ky. Actually we up-graded it to non-directional from 4 tower directional different day and night. It has a new transmitter and
bigger coverage than before. It also
had an FM translator years before this even happened. Same commentor mentions
Clarksville, Tn AM WQZQ. It was destroyed by a flood two years ago and
could not be rebuilt at the same location. It also had an FM translator for years and that still provides the
the same service that it did before the flood being fed by an HD2 FM signal. The
service to Clarksville remains, though the AM lost money for years.

It would be ideal if AMs could be competitive with FMs. The technical challenges are great. The compteition for survival will be more difficult in
the future. The commentors who feel that being an AM operator is easy, should invest their own time and money and show others how to do it. It is a
whole lot easier to comment than it is to do it.

I agree that an "all digital" AM band is a desirable feature for the future.
There may be many new applications that
are today unthought of. But for the moment, keeping AM as a viable alternative also requires thinking about
FM translators. There are many operators who have had stations for
years and been good public servants who
find themselves in an untenable position. They want to do a great "local" job of serving their communities, but the technical and
businiess climate is against them. An
FM translator for some and their communities is a possible "light at the
end of the tunnel".

- Bayard Walters
(11/19/2012 10:14:34 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Give up on AM? How long does the corpse have to rot before you admit it's dead? The FCC can start by mandating all radios receive HD and move AMs over to HD2 and HD3 channels. Or expand the amalog FM band in to VHF TV channels 5 & 6 and give current AMs channels there.
- Harry Kozlowski
(11/19/2012 10:07:33 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
It would be nice to revitalize AM. I work it, I love it, but the modern microprocessor and switching power supplies, and computers, and a myriad of electronic devices have raised the general electronic hash level to intolerable levels. I doubt the feds will get rid of all our electronic "innovations" in order to clear the AM band.
- Bill Meyer
(11/19/2012 4:07:49 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Car manufacturers have started eliminating the AM band in new car models. It doesn't matter what kind of audio improvement you have if the AM band is no longer available as a listening choice.
- Craig Fox
(11/19/2012 12:52:23 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
How does moving listeners to the FM band revitalize the AM band? It is more like admitting defeat. I'm with Ron, better engineering and audio would do a lot more. Producing actual quality local content (really being a part of your community) would go a lot further towards strengthening any localism your station has than adding another satellite signal. Does your "local" AM station work with community groups, create children's programming, host local high school sports, etc?
- John Devecka
(11/19/2012 11:27:35 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Good idea, since this change would help many small market AM stations be viable in their communities. Would like to see a way for translators that meet certain requirements to be granted primary status, similar to the Class A designation for certain low power television stations. This would give more stability to AM/translator combinations.
- Ed Henson
(11/19/2012 10:39:38 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
AM stations do not need FM translators. AM stations that program music should go back to the AM STEREO of years past. It sounded better than FM, especially where multipath was a problem. We don't need the HDAM "dead horse", just wideband stereo radios. Sony was ready back then and hundreds of consumer radios could be available if AM'ers would hop back on the stereo bandwagon.

Of course, it would also be nice if stations would actually hire engineers as part of the staff. You would be amazed at how good AM can sound when maintained instead of neglected.

- Ron Erickson


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