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First New AM Translator Filing Window To Open This Summer

FCC Federal Communications Commission RadioInsight Premium ReportAt this morning’s keynote address at the National Association of Broadcasters Convention, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the first new filing window for new FM translators for AM stations will be this summer.

The window will be for Class C & D AMs that did not acquire a translator for a station in the two 250 mile move filing windows that took place in 2016. A second window for Class A & B AMs will follow at a later date. Should multiple stations file for the same frequency in a market and not resolve the mutually exclusive conflict, they will bid against one another in an auction. Pai states that the IT work necessary to handle the new filing windows are being done now at the FCC.

Also in his keynote, Pai announced plans to propose a comprehensive review of all FCC media regulations at the commission’s May open meeting. He states that the review would “explore whether certain rules should be modified to provide regulatory relief to small businesses”. Among the rules that Pai zeroed in on is the elimination of the main studio requirement for a licensee to maintain a studio in or near its community of license which will also be voted on in May.

Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

4 Comments


  1. If there was any more proof that the AM band is on terminal life support, this is it.

    No imagination, no thinking about how to improve the quality of mediumwave broadcasting (either in a technical and programming perspective) but hey, let’s just get out even MORE translators and move the audience to the FM dial permanently. Worse still, this is apparently being done with zero foresight about the serious damage it will do to an already overcrowded FM dial.

    And this “plan” gets a standing ovation to boot. What a joke.


    • I’m sure Congress will eventually approve the shut down the AM band, forcing a lot of those stations to move over to FM and/or their HD subchannels.


  2. I own and operate a total four AM stations. Two of which would be considered very successful and the other two weren’t despite doing all the things one has to do in making a small town radio station to make an AM successful. We put FM translators on all four of them and suddenly there is life for the two which did poorly and the two heritage AMs have enjoyed sizable revenue and audience increases and for the first time in their history, people can listen to the station at night more than just a few miles. The marketplace long ago decided the fate of AM radio. I am extremely grateful the FCC saw fit to let AM stations use translators. It’s been a game changer for those of us who are out trying to serve our communities and make a living in the process.


  3. I think FCC should change the rules and allow the Broadcasters whose operate from an AM or HD sub-channel to originate programming from the translator and using it like a 250watts station. It makes easy since every one know the future of AM is to be use the airwaves for other services than Broadcasting programming, may be use for transfer data or something else.

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