Tomorrow’s FCC meeting was to consider the proposal to allow AM stations to use FM translators on a permanent basis (see our post here). However, it is not going to happen – the FCC released a Public Notice today removing that item from the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting. While a number of other items were also withdrawn from the agenda, most of them were decisions on specific cases which are not routinely decided at open meetings, and most of these matters were decided on circulation (i.e. voted on by the Commissioners without a meeting). Two more general items, one dealing with a simplification of AM proof of performance procedures and another with requests for reconsideration of the FCC’s noncommercial comparative standards, have also been decided on circulation (and we will report on these decisions when the decisions are released). But the item on FM translators for AM stations was pulled from the agenda, and has apparently not been decided by the FCC.
Rumors that this item would be pulled circulated last week at the NAB Radio Show. We have always expressed concerns that this item would be held up by pressure put on the FCC by LPFM advocates who fear more demand for FM translators from AM stations will make it harder for LPFM applicants to find open channels. We have no idea if this is in fact the reason for the deletion of the item from tomorrow’s agenda, and will have to wait to see when the matter reappears for final consideration.