DC lobbyists, pols looking to FM to revive AM signals

Oct 08, 2015 12:05 am
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David Oxenford in the Broadcast Law Blog reports that industry representatives and FCC officials keep saying that the only way to fix AM radio is by broadcasting AM signals on FM radio. FCC commissioners with fond memories of growing up with AM radio want to help bring back the format, a fool's errand since AM's sonic limitations don't make it of much use for music programming. But if AM owners could just broadcast on FM, then AM would be saved, is the logic from Washington D.C. these days. The latest proposal would allow AM station licensees to buy FM translators located as far as 250 miles away from the AM station, and then move the translator to an area where the station can be rebroadcast on FM. So buying a translator station gives that licensee the right to file for a vacant frequency in its market on a first-come, first-served basis. Class C and D AM stations may get first shot at the translator stations if word about the plan is correct.