The current translator windows for AMs to move them up to 250 miles has generated hundreds of sales and moves. Many AMs are now on the FM band with coverage areas similar to the AM, but how in the world does that help the AM? It may save a few financially but logic says that what will really happen is that most existing listeners will gravitate to the FM signal in short order, so how does that help AM? It seems that all it really accomplishes is moving listeners AWAY from the AM band, making it even less relevant moving forward. The other issue here is that the AMs who are struggling the most cannot afford a $40-80k expenditure to purchase, move and install a translator so much of the available spectrum is being taken by the ones that need the help the least. When the window opens next year for those stations who didn't or couldn't participate in the 2016 windows there will be very little left as far as frequency availability.
I still feel the best way to fix AM is to inspect every one and enforce the existing rules. Many of the struggling AMs have a grocery list of violations - everything from major issues like no manned studio and towers and equipment that are not in compliance to easy to fix stuff like incomplete public files. This would eliminate many AMs who should be gone anyway and clean the band up by eliminating interference. There used to be a financial test to determine who was qualified to have a license as well as regular enforcement - now there is virtually nothing to police the license holders. The license holders don't own the license - the FCC does - so there is no argument here about fairness to the little guy. Follow the rules or lose your license.