FM translators for AM - are they really helping? - Page 2
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Thread: FM translators for AM - are they really helping?

  1. #11
    It would be far more than a few that would get fined. I agree the band is pretty much dead at this point but the enforcement sweep can only help the remaining stations if a size able number are eliminated. I would think a third or more of the existing stations would have real problems if a FCC agent came in.

  2. #12
    There have been many dead AMs brought back and immediately a FM translator is moved in as the main signal. I have seen several where they bought an AM and a FM translator for $75k. The AM is alive but is it really? Not one person listening and more interference for the stand alone AMs to overcome.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ok walters View Post
    It would be far more than a few that would get fined. I agree the band is pretty much dead at this point but the enforcement sweep can only help the remaining stations if a size able number are eliminated. I would think a third or more of the existing stations would have real problems if a FCC agent came in.
    An inspection can result in an order to rectify a less significant issue, or a notice of violation with a possible fine. To get a license revoked would require a lengthy hearing procedure and would not be based on just an inspection. In nearly all cases, the repair or remedy of the situation is doable, and few stations will say, "I can't do that" or "I can't afford that".

    Plus the FCC has just closed almost a dozen field offices, so the inspections won't be happening.

    In any case, thinning the heard does not improve the lot for remaining stations as the biggest issue for AM today is man-made interference, not a crowded band.
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  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEduardo View Post

    In any case, thinning the heard does not improve the lot for remaining stations as the biggest issue for AM today is man-made interference, not a crowded band. [/FONT]
    In the meantime, the FCC is over-crowding the FM band, which at some point will cause problems that won't be easily solved.

  5. #15
    An unpaid fine stops license renewal which is due in less than four years. Many AMs are on life support at this point already and have antiquated equipment and aging infrastructure that have been ignored for years due to a lack of revenue. The carnage of an enforcement sweep would be widespread and devastating if it was just done by the book. It may take a few years as licenses are valid until 2020 in most cases but it would thin the herd significantly at that point.

  6. #16
    I agree that much of the interference issue is man made, but fewer stations sure can't hurt. All of this is pretty meaningless anyway as David explained above about the AM demographic aging out. Even if all interference was eliminated it won't bring younger people to the AM band as they have never been there before and many don't even know it exists.

  7. #17
    In my opinion, the AM radio band is finished! Canada has all but phased out the AM band and Norway is closing down the FM band in favor of DAB broadcasting.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    The law doesn't allow the FCC to discriminate by programming. It's first come, first served. He with the most money wins.

    This is why I say that LPFMs should only be allowed in the noncommercial part of the spectrum. But the law wasn't written that way.
    I know and hate to keep harping on this but allowing stations to take up the remaining frequencies that have no hope of advancing the "band", wherever it may end up, will only succeed in reducing the lifetimes of any viable stations.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by blackgold View Post
    In my opinion, the AM radio band is finished! Canada has all but phased out the AM band and Norway is closing down the FM band in favor of DAB broadcasting.
    Yet in Buenos Aires (a city as big as New York City) AM has 40% of all listening. India is building several national networks on the Medium Wave Band, stressing much better rural coverage than FM. They will use DRM and the quality is excellent.

    Canada still has something like 40% of its AMs, with new niche services replacing AMs that moved to FM
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  10. #20

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    The only reason why owners are applying for FM translators, is for profit. An FM = revenue. The FCC loves it as well, more stations - more money. Thankfully Yakima hasn't jumped on this bandwagon THAT much yet. But in Seattle, where LPFM CPs are all over, new HD2 and AM translators are starting to pop up. In Olympia, there's two HD translators and now a 107.3 relaying KUOW-1340. With the crowded band in the metro, it's going to create more trouble than satisfaction, especially if an AM decides to throw a translator on top of a rimshot. KGNW-820 bought an Astoria translator and might be moving it to 104.1 (home of the 60KW KAFE Bellingham). This could affect KAFE on their fringe coverage area.

    I wonder if within the next 10 years, the FCC will do to AM like they did for analog TV...a MW shutdown throughout the country, moving them to FM or online.
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