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Thread: siilent AM stations

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Small Market Guy View Post
    I'm not even talking about raising revenue by enforcement. I mean they can't even do that right, they have no place even considering anything else.
    The only thing they've done in the last ten or so years IS consider things. Let's think about reversing the cross ownership ban. OK, we thought about it, so we'll let it stand. Same with everything else they've thought about. Let's think about giving FM translators to AM licensees. They thought about it, and then moved on. That's been the pattern of the last ten or so years. Maybe I should be happy, because if they actually DID some of the things they've thought about, we'd be in worse shape.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    The only thing they've done in the last ten or so years IS consider things. Let's think about reversing the cross ownership ban. OK, we thought about it, so we'll let it stand. Same with everything else they've thought about. Let's think about giving FM translators to AM licensees. They thought about it, and then moved on. That's been the pattern of the last ten or so years. Maybe I should be happy, because if they actually DID some of the things they've thought about, we'd be in worse shape.
    Some of the things they've considered are downright scary. I'd rather they not even pretend to be interested.

  3. #53
    The AM stations here in Tennessee that have REALLY struggled have been the ones that were either situated between two larger cities, like WCTA in Alamo (between Dyersburg and Jackson) and the late WQSV of Ashland City (between Nashville and Clarksville), or those that were not in county-seat towns, like the long-gone WPFD of Fairview. There is a thread on the Tennessee statewide board about WCTA.

    On the other hand, one that went off the air, that I believe should have stayed on, was the dearly-departed WFUL of Fulton, KY. They served both Fulton and Hickman Counties of Kentucky, and were the only AM station in either county, as far as I know. They were live and local, at least in the mornings, back when I lived close enough to listen to them, and they carried high school and University of Kentucky sports. They were 1000 watts, and could be heard (daytime, of course) from as much as 50 miles away. Their mistake was that they did absolutely NOTHING to reach out to younger listeners. They never had a Facebook page, and as far as I know, they never even had a website. Their entry in the broadcasting yearbook had them targeting listeners 40 and above.

    However, another one that I had written off for dead, but appears to be thriving, is WHDM of McKenzie, which is not a county-seat town. Only 500 watts at most. Very weak signal. They were off the air for a couple of years in the mid-'90s, but returned under new ownership. Yes, they are primarily satellite-fed now, but they have an FM translator, which apparently helps them with visibility in the community. They are jointly owned with other stations, so it is possible that those other stations may be propping them up.

  4. #54
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    I agree with Fred Leonard: There are too many AM stations in this country. Many struggle just to get a 0.1 share of the audience. Here in Los Angeles, even the once-great KFI has seen steadily declining ratings for two years. After finding that most kids listen to Radio Disney on XM or online or on mobile apps, and not on AM, Disney on September 26 will cease broadcasting on 22 of its 23 stations, keeping only KDIS to originate the national programming feed. And today this appeared at LARadio.com: "After learning that BMW’s new electric model – the i3 – will not include an AM radio due to the engine’s causing interference with AM reception, the NAB’s Gordon Smith wrote a letter to BMW asking the company to reconsider the move and re-engineer the system to accommodate AM, as some other manufacturers have."

    Any predictions for the future of AM radio? Fewer stations? Fewer stations and stronger signals? Obsolescence?

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by LARadioRewind View Post
    Any predictions for the future of AM radio? Fewer stations? Fewer stations and stronger signals? Obsolescence?
    The stations with huge signals will survive a while longer.

    The marginally adequate signals will go to niche formats when those exist. In LA, there are niche formats for everything from Farsi to Vietnamese as well as various religious options. Keep in mind that these formats don't sell on numbers, so if they don't show in Nielsen up or get very low numbers it does not affect them at all.

    The daytimers and totally inadequate signals which don't get translators will close.

    As a supporting fact, in the top 100 markets there are only about 170 AMs that even cover 80% of the market day and night. Some of those markets do not even have one such station, while others have several. But a band that only has a couple of viable signals per metro can not survive for long.

    Over time, the niche formats will go to streaming, and those stations will die, also.
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