In the last few weeks, a Democratic Senator and a Republican FCC Commissioner have both expressed support for the future of AM radio. This is not a new topic, being the subject of speculation for at least the last 20 years as FM listening caught up to and surpassed the older service’s audience. But, when considering worldwide trends, a real question arises as to whether this inquiry is too narrow, and whether the FCC should not be taking more steps to insure the continuation of a free, local broadcast service.
In the last decade, the FCC has considered and, in many cases adopted, various proposals to revitalize the AM service – including providing FM translators for AM stations (see our articles here and here) and permitting all-digital AM operations (see our article here). Other proposals, including one for across-the-board power increases for AM stations (see our article here) and another to lessen the interference protection enjoyed by high powered “clear channel” AMs, which would allow lower power local AM stations to increase nighttime power (see our article here), have not been adopted. What new issues are being raised by these recent expressions of support from DC regulators?
Continue Reading Washington Worries About AM Radio – Senator Markey and Commissioner Simington Weigh in on the Future of the Service While Overseas There are Thoughts of Ending Broadcasting Altogether