Stanton on AM Radio - Page 6
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Thread: Stanton on AM Radio

  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEduardo View Post


    The issue with AM is the cost of the technical facility. Even with newer antenna designs, there is a need for a sizable piece of land nand thus zoning issues. The equipment, once you get over 100 watts, is costly.

    And whatever the power, AM does very strange things at night even on low power. I remember hearing a 50 watt station from Puerto Rico in Cleveland, OH, on 780 AM... so there is definitely the interference issue even at low power.
    David is correct—I doubt we will see too many hobby broadcasters able financially or legally run a 5-tower array in their backyard pumping out XX kW/h. But considering an AM license (not the tower site, which sold for near seven digits) on the Eastside recently changed hands for $5,000, the opportunity is there for some broadcast band bargains and will only get cheaper in the future. I do believe this station is broadcasting from the former CE’s backyard with a long wire and 250 watts. Not the best situation, but probably better range than a LPFM in a congested metro like Seattle. Plus, less onerous rules regarding programming, underwriting, and ownership. Like BigA said though, if a tree falls in a forest...

    I think 20 years from now, the AM dial will be vastly different in most markets. Everything (and I mean basically every standalone AM not attached to a translator) will be niche religious, ethnic, or community broadcasters who “traded up” from a LPFM or hamstrung class A. Your big stations that will be able to cut through the interference like KIRO and KOMO will do well for awhile, but even then the Seahawks and/or Mariners will eventually want to be heard on FM, and the sports talk will have to migrate accordingly.
    As we used to say down in ol' Mexico City...A.M.F.!

  2. #52
    That station found itself in its current predicament because the two companies that occupied the site you're talking about decided against purchasing the property. That put one station out of business and the other on a STA from sunset til midnight. The monetary figure was the engineer's fee for taking the station down. They gave him the license in trade. Add insult to injury... it was $3,000, not $5,000, adjusted for expenses.

    If he finds a set of towers that he can land on in this market, he could make some real money for it, even though it is an AM. As is said here, niche programmers still have a use for AM, and the stations are not quite devalued to donation status... yet.

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    They can do that now with Part 15 licenses. Anything bigger would require a more expensive tower and transmitter. And truthfully, if no one is listening, why would someone want to devote time and money to an expensive hobby? My buddy has been an amateur radio guy for years, and even he gave up on it recently because there aren't many people listening.
    They would do it for the same reason guys look at stars with telescopes instead of online, build model train layouts ,or the ham radio guys -- they are still around, but yeah -- they are less and less active on the bands. But there are people who would do it just because they have an interest in the lower technology stuff, the old-school ways of doing things. That's the thing about the word "hobby", it implies something that is unnecessary that no one else it probably interested in aside from some few aficionados nationwide. It's just the way it is.

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Grounded Grid View Post
    \
    If he finds a set of towers that he can land on in this market, he could make some real money for it, even though it is an AM.
    I doubt it. Your average retiree can't afford the gear to duplex an AM with another, let alone build a stand-alone full AM site. I don't think Jim is independently wealthy enough to make that investment. Even if they could put those resources together, considering the number of built stations in the Seattle area, it is unlikely an AM station that has effectively been silent for several years would fetch much.

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEduardo View Post

    And then there are those who want a comedy approach, with a little story to make the point; most of those are bad and the ones that aren't are tedious after hearing them a couple of times.
    I've only known one advertiser who did a good job of this. He was a car dealer, and he hired a standup comedian with radio experience to write and perform in his spots. The format was always the same: 5 seconds of disclaimer (with a recognizable music bed to identify what was coming), 25 seconds topical comedy sketch (which usually poked fun at the car buying experience), and 30 seconds of sell. They were the only spots where I ever saw listeners actually turn up the radio when the disclaimer hit because they knew something funny was coming, so we always played them first in the break. They were switched out quickly enough that you didn't get tired of the jokes.

    But that is the exception. Most radio spots written to be funny, aren't. Most car dealer spots are annoying and are written to entertain the dealer's management.
    The opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employers. Retweets are not endorsements.

  6. #56

    Join Date
    May 2011
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    The Adopt US Kids PSAs are really good, probably some of the most creative spots out there right now. I had the opportunity to work with the folks down at Jack Straw for four summers, and one of those we produced PSAs. I am not sure how they would be responded to in the listener community, but we sure had fun producing them.

  7. #57

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    Jun 2018
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    Woodinville, WA sorta
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    "I do believe this station is broadcasting from the former CE’s backyard with a long wire and 250 watts."

    He was on the air with a long wire, briefly. If you know the area it was east of 405 and north of 520, about a mile due west of Microsoft HQ. A few blocks north of the Skate King- RIP. I drove around- seemed like roughly a mile radius listenable signal. He then filed for silence, and also got himself an FM translator CP on Cougar Mt. (very low power but LOTS of height.) I don't know the man or his intentions, but perhaps he is waiting for the FCC to go the next step in "revitalization" and let the AMs that are feeding the translators voluntarily die. I know he is a long time pro in the area and so I figure he knows what he is doing. Then he can just kick on the 98.5 "translator" and feed it directly.

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by The New Chico View Post
    "I do believe this station is broadcasting from the former CEs backyard with a long wire and 250 watts."

    He was on the air with a long wire, briefly. If you know the area it was east of 405 and north of 520, about a mile due west of Microsoft HQ. A few blocks north of the Skate King- RIP. I drove around- seemed like roughly a mile radius listenable signal. He then filed for silence, and also got himself an FM translator CP on Cougar Mt. (very low power but LOTS of height.) I don't know the man or his intentions, but perhaps he is waiting for the FCC to go the next step in "revitalization" and let the AMs that are feeding the translators voluntarily die. I know he is a long time pro in the area and so I figure he knows what he is doing. Then he can just kick on the 98.5 "translator" and feed it directly.
    For a while I heard it at night on 1460 KHz periodically, rebroadcasting the La Familia station that is based in the Seattle area. It was kind of cool to hear it, actually. Sort of like hearing a Part 15 AM station, because I knew the rumor was that the owner was using a dipole or wire antenna somewhere near the original location.

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