Talk Radio belongs on AM, Not FM
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Thread: Talk Radio belongs on AM, Not FM

  1. #1

    Talk Radio belongs on AM, Not FM

    For those who like Talk Radio that's fine. I just don't understand why people are bring spoken word formats to FM when they already are on AM? Is it that difficult for someone to switch to AM on their radio? Why waste a good FM signal that could be playing actual real music of any format or type of music there is and put something that already exists on AM? It doesn't make sense. The audiences AM is trying to get is the younger generation. It's not that difficult for someone young to listen to AM radio. if anything ask for a signal upgrade if not well tough.

  2. #2
    cd637299
    Guest

    Re: Talk Radio belongs on AM, Not FM

    I am not in the biz, but things are changing all over. More and more songs are downloaded, and radio is not the go-to for music like it was just 5 to 10 years ago.

    Many AM talk stations *want* to be on FM. Many have already moved or simulcast (WDBO Orlando being a recent example, even though AM 580 is a good dial position).

    With more interference from electronics, like PCs, iPhones, etc., more buzz is generated on AM. And heaven forbid that a thunderstorm is going on when one is trying to listen to AM! Add to that, trying to listen to AM inside an office building....FM wins.

    AM is dying all over. Not a quick demise, but AM is no longer hip, even for talk. The next 5 years will likely see even more and more talk stations going to FM, and music going online, IMO.

    This, coming from a longtime AM DXer, who hardly bothers anymore with AM DXing....I'm pretty much FM & TV now!

    cd

  3. #3

    Re: Talk Radio belongs on AM, Not FM

    There's ways to improve AM signals but not putting it on FM and wasting airspace.

  4. #4
    nocomradio
    Guest

    Re: Talk Radio belongs on AM, Not FM

    Radio is business and it all comes down to the bottom line. No money, no station. If talk needs more advertisers, they won't get them with a scratchy signal, one that fades at night to unlistenable, or only in one direction.

    Not that I like it, but you'll be hearing a lot more chat, and less music on FM over the next few years.

  5. #5

    Re: Talk Radio belongs on AM, Not FM

    Based on satellite radio, mp3 players, pandora and every other way you can hear music, why wouldn't talk move to FM? NPR has been doing it for years (and rather successfully.)

    The big question is, "what will happen to all those AM signals?"

    At some point, maybe in 5-10 years, WSB, WDBO, WBBM, WMAL, etc, will decide it's not worth the electric current to keep both stations operating with the same format. Eventually, they will want to split that signal again, keeping the news and talk on FM. So what will they do with the AM signals?

    (Remember, this is no different than what happened back in the 60s and 70s with FM radio. Music was on AM, then moved to FM. They put news and talk programming on AM. What's next?)

  6. #6

    Re: Talk Radio belongs on AM, Not FM

    Quote Originally Posted by XCountry285
    There's ways to improve AM signals but not putting it on FM and wasting airspace.
    You can improve an AM signal only so far, but it's a flawed (by today's standards) transmission mode. It served its purpose for 80 years (and was king for 50 of them), but there are better ways to broadcast now, both via radio and online.

    You can get rid of IBOC & increase the audio frequency response to 15 kHz, and manufacture top-quality AM receivers (who'll buy them?), but it won't matter. There are almost no listeners under retirement age other than for sports - and sports stations are moving to FM as well. They have to in order to survive! There is no market for AM anymore. None.

    Even the 50 kW blowtorches are finding bigger audiences on FM simulcasts/translators. Others, like WTOP, just abandoned the AM entirely and are making a mint.
    We have to save the Earth! It's the only planet with football and beer.

  7. #7

    Re: Talk Radio belongs on AM, Not FM

    AM signals can stink, esp. with interference and pattern switches. A solid FM can improve reception plus many people today are stuck on FM. Some devices (like mp3 players with radios) can only get FM

    In Boston WEEI 850 dominated sports talk and had Celtics and Red Sox too. Then in 09 along came
    WBZ-FM 98.5 with a solid FM signal, Bruins, and Patriots (and sports talk on both). Suddenly WEEI had
    solid competition. WEEI had to kill off "Mike", a profitable "variety hits" outlet so that WEEI could simulcast
    on FM, 93.7--and survive. Show by show, WEEI was losing out in key demos. Changing talent might help, but putting it on FM can't hurt. And in fact they are not even giving the AM freq out anymore and
    speculation has the AM doing ESPN 24/7 exc. for spillover sports/

    Where I work, and I work nights, 98.5 would come in but not 850 (a few spots maybe but LOTS of interference). Now I can get Red Sox , talk etc
    on FM without interference, pattern changes (can't hear em west of town etc.) Entercom, owner of WEEI,
    put the signal on some other frequencies--mostly FM--outside of Boston. But they needed solid penetration
    into Boston. Now they have it.

    Talk, be it sports talk, poli talk, etc. can do well on FM. AM has some advantages but signal problems
    and resistance to AM are problems. Deal with it: News. talk, sports are moving to FM and for good reasons. Including making money

    >>There are almost no listeners under retirement age other than for sports - and sports stations are moving to FM as well. They have to in order to survive! There is no market for AM anymore. None.

    Though AM can still serve the very few, by comparison, who want ethnic music, Radio Disney, religion and very small community stations (a dying breed)

  8. #8

    Re: Talk Radio belongs on AM, Not FM

    Quote Originally Posted by XCountry285
    It's not that difficult for someone young to listen to AM radio.
    As I've pointed out in another thread almost exactly like this one: Younger audiences aren't going to listen to AM, no matter how easy it is. They're just not going to do it. Period, end of story.

    They're also tired of people picking what music they listen to. The iPod won't kill music radio, but it's definitely wounded it.

    There will always be a place for music radio. Doctors' offices, elevators and other public places need something to play. For people who actually want music, radio is becoming less and less relevant. In turn, something that can't be put on an iPod, live talk programming, will fill that void on FM radio.

    Trying to stop this inevitability by saying "kids can just switch to AM" is like trying to hang on to the buggy whip factory.

  9. #9

    Re: Talk Radio belongs on AM, Not FM

    I'd prefer to listen to talk on FM than AM simply because it sounds better! Don't say that just because it's FM, ANY music is better than talk.

  10. #10

    Re: Talk Radio belongs on AM, Not FM

    Talk radio does belong to AM. Music belongs to FM. If I want to hear talk in FM stereo, I'll listen to my HD radio or online.

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