Help Is Finally On The Way For The AM Band



John F. Garziglia

By John F. Garziglia


October 26th, 2015

There is much good for AM broadcasters in the recently released AM revitalization order. Initially, it needs to be recognized that one of the most important AM revitalization options, the AM-only FM translator auction filing window, would not be a reality without the diligent efforts of the National Association of Broadcasters.  Too often, the NAB is criticized, sometimes justly, for unduly focusing on television and large broadcasters to the detriment of smaller broadcasters.  If the NAB had not vigorously intervened in this proceeding, there would not now be a planned AM-only FM translator auction filing window. Here are several of the changes to look for from the FCC’s 74-page document.

In addition to the very important 250-mile waiver (see next story), The FCC put forth a number of proposals in the AM revitalization order.  Much to the chagrin of some AM broadcasters who had been lobbying for greater flexibility in locating an FM translator in the vicinity of an AM station, the FCC did not change in this order the requirement that the 60 dBì signal of an FM translator carrying an AM station not extend further than the AM station’s 2 mV/m contour or in excess of 25 miles from the AM station’s transmitter site.  Rather, the FCC proposed in the future to extend the mileage limit to 40 miles.  That change in the mileage limit to 40 miles, if it occurs, will not happen for many months, or possibly years, from now.

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