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Thread: AM College Radio: Thoughts

  1. #21

    Re: AM College Radio: Thoughts

    I think a college/university could pick up a dying commercial AM and do well as a college radio/community radio station. Maybe have the weekend days set aside for ethnic music formats that aren't heard much anymore, polkas, polynesian, German music during Ocktoberfest. Happy music. Maybe some Euro techno once in awhile. Maybe even broadcast some local high school sports (to share the signal so to speak). Maybe have local people debate the issues instead of being subjected to and being brainwashed by talk/hate radio. Great way to practice the concept of diversity.
    My thoughts....

  2. #22

    Re: AM College Radio: Thoughts

    Does anyone know if there any AM signals in the Northern Chataqua County, New York(Fredonia/Dunkirk, NY) area? If there were, how would a college go about purchasing the frequency for a LPAM station?
    “Radio is the theater of the mind; television is the theater of the mindless” - Steve Allen

  3. #23

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    Re: AM College Radio: Thoughts

    To add the this subject, the former commercial station I engineered, WMMM-AM in Westport, CT, was donated to Sacred Heart University in neighboring Fairfield, CT. It is now an outlet for their NPR talk programming. I know there are another AM a little more up the coast from me that ended up being donated to Quinnipiac University. It seems this was a way for these stations to gracefully divest themselves of properties that had proved difficult to liquidate otherwise.

    A past message mentioned URH, which is a Part 15 station from what research I've been able to gather. There are many schools an universities utilizing Part 15 stations as part of their campus radio programs. I'm hoping to profile some in the near future for my website, CampusBroadcaster.net
    CampusBroadcaster.net & HobbyBroadcaster.net
    The reference for legal low-power license free broadcasting under FCC Part 15 regulations.
    Campus-limited student radio and hobby radio broadcasting
    Legal & technical references, equipment reviews, how-to's and more!


    The WMMM-AM / WMMM-FM / WDJF Tribute Site
    The history of Westport Connecticut radio.

  4. #24

    Re: AM College Radio: Thoughts

    We don't have "LPAM" in the U.S. as a licensed service but LPB makes some transmitters that are LPAM & legal for college stations (I believe those rules are in Part 15 as well). I'm not sure what parts of the dial are used for what but as I remember it, the carrier current stations are usually between 530-600 & stations with an antenna are up around 1700. Each is such so they radiate well. Here in R.I., WRIU used to have a carrier-current station on 580 & Brown University's was on 600. Anyway, the F.C.C. regulations are a little more lax but it's set up so that your station's signal is no more than x millivolts per meter at x meters off campus.

    I hope this helps!

  5. #25

    Re: AM College Radio: Thoughts

    You mentioned northern Delaware in your piece and I think that Newark's 1260 would be an excellent station for a college to take over.

    Not a bad idea assuming you could get the college kids to listen to an AM station. However, in the case of Newark's former AM 1260 WNRK it's too late, 1260 Newark is now an Espanic Station. They don't show up in the 12+ numbers for Wilmington, but then again they rarely did even when they were in their prime. So I have no idea how many listeners they are pulling in with their new format of about a year. It does seem that the signal is getting out a bit better than it used to at night, but as I don't speak Spanish and they aren't speaking any English (at least during the couple of times I've tuned in) I don't listen and do not know much more about the small station that once was the former pride and joy of Newark back in the mid 60's.
    An older person is a younger person, on the inside, wondering what the heck happened???

  6. #26

    Re: AM College Radio: Thoughts

    If memory serves, it's 25000 microvolts/meter at the campus boundary. A good CC system will do far better than a Part 15. I've seen 2 miles of decent coverage with CC.


    Quote Originally Posted by N1WVQ
    F.C.C. regulations are a little more lax but it's set up so that your station's signal is no more than x millivolts per meter at x meters off campus.

  7. #27

    Re: AM College Radio: Thoughts

    I think a college/university could pick up a dying commercial AM and do well as a college radio/community radio station.
    It was tried at WBTN and failed badly, despite a "proven" lineup and even having the Red Sox games (usually a sure winner).

    To be blunt, why would a college inherently be better at running a failing radio station than any commercial operator? An AM station is rarely a good idea for a student activity; most students don't even own a radio (save perhaps for their car) and AM radio is even more a "relic" in their eyes than FM radio is, thanks to a viciously-overcrowded band at night. The school could spend a lot less and reach a lot more students by starting a webcast-only station. (assuming SoundExchange doesn't manage to end all webcasting as we know it)

    So unless the station is part of a course curriculum (which would be an odd thing to start in these times, especially considering CT School of Broadcasting just abruptly went bankrupt)...or unless the college wants a radio outlet for broadcasting sports games (which almost always can be done much cheaper by working a deal with an existing local station) then there's really no reason for a college to take over any station, much less a station that is already failing financially. Hell, most NPR affiliate stations depend on SOME form of subsidies from their parent college; rarely are they 100% fiscally self-sufficient...and most of them have decent-sized *FM* signals, too.

    I know it's easy for me to say this since I'm not relying on such a license for my livelihood...but I can't help but think the entire radio industry would be better off if a lot of these small, fiscally-shaky, "graveyard channel" Class C and small Class D AM stations were just taken off the air and the allocations deleted permanently. It'd help make the entire band a lot more viable, especially at night.

  8. #28

    Re: AM College Radio: Thoughts

    The real problem with this entire discussion is that it assumes colleges and universities have money. A lot of them are in big trouble. Their endowments were tied up in stock fund that lost between 40-50% of their value. Alumni giving has stalled. State and federal funding is down. I've read of several colleges that have sold off their FM stations. A few more are considering it. If it doesn't directly involve classroom learning, it's on the chopping block. Radio stations, AM or otherwise, are not necessary to classroom learning. They're either a student activity (and those fees have increased dramatically lately), or it's a revenue producer (such as a university-owned NPR station). If the revenues don't cover the cost of operation, those stations are being sold.

    I agree with the poster who said these stations should simply shut down. There are way too many stations for the operators to make money. A lot of states own these AM stations and use them for traffic information on the highways or airport information. That's about all they're good for, and I expect with cuts in state funding, those radio stations will be among the first things to go.

  9. #29

    Re: AM College Radio: Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wells
    KUOM has always sounded great, and when I am in the cities, it's the 1st station I put on a rental car radio preset.
    I seem to remember they were in CQUAM stereo, too.
    One college AM which airs a "Classic Alternative" format is KGRG at 1330 out of Enumclaw, Washington. Their website is: http://www.kgrg1.com/

  10. #30

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    Re: AM College Radio: Thoughts

    A better idea would be to offer to program an unused HD-2 or 3 channel on an FM station with real power and coverage.
    One could even do pledge drives on a non-com.
    Ai4i has Always Been on the Trailing Edge of Technology!

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