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Are You Trying to Kill Off AM Radio?



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(11/20/2012 7:51:57 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Big AMs still lead in places like San Francisco and prairie states, where the ground conductivity is high. But AM has other problems: 1) receivers suck, even in cars, where now it's the fashion to minimize the antenna; 2) interference among too many stations; 3) rising digital noise; 4) demographic creep; 5) rise in listening elsewhere. (In the last book, WAMU's stream beat many AMs in D.C.) Hey, the band is 90 years old. It's gradually dying a natural death. No rush, but still...
- Doc Searls
(11/20/2012 7:14:26 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Kevin: Your point is well taken. New Jersey has a 127 mile coastline. WIBG serves the Atlantic City-Cape May region. We were fortunate enough to maintain power and backups. However with IBOC and all the other gimmicks, nothing delivers information like AM radio. Big problem is people look to radio for information when the balloon goes up. Otherwise many consider it just for entertainment.Very little in the way of an informed public at so many levels.
- Rick Brancadora
(11/20/2012 6:25:03 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
I'm sure WIBG did a great job. But, how 'bout the guy interviewed on Fox News who said, "We don't even know who the President is? We're not getting any information here!" Obviously, he has never heard of WIBG...or the AM Radio Band.
- Kevin Fodor
(11/20/2012 6:21:21 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Bill. While micros add noise, if AM broadcasters wanted a quieter local signal, they should call their local electric utilities. Most of these companies have terribly noisy transformers and lines. Tell them of specific areas of noise, and alot of the local noise issues vanish. Problem is, most power companies have stopped maintaining their infrastructure, adding MUCH more noise to the AM band. Call them on it!
- Rick Brancadora
(11/20/2012 6:14:27 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Hashtag baby.. AM radio is alive and well. It goes back to live and local programming. WIBG1020 The Talk of South Jersey lead all AM's with its full coverage of Hurricane Sandy. Tens of thousands of South Jersey residents depended on WIBG1020 to be that lighthouse of information during this killer storm. Solid live/local broadcasters with a commitment to the community.. not to themselves provide our listeners with solid local information! Its still about live local content!
- Rick Brancadora
(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


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