Posted by: cinnamonlaw | April 12, 2013

FCC Commissioner Pai Sings the Praises of AM Radio

At a time where lots of  AM station owners are struggling and there’s a great deal of focus on FM translators and LPFMs, Commissioner Pai’s request for an AM revitalization panel at the NAB was a welcome surprise.  Since his resume doesn’t show a big broadcast background (haven’t seen that on the 8th floor since Jim Quello) many wondered where his love of AM came from.  Come to find out it;s the same place my love of radio started.  He listened to baseball games as a child! Read his prepared remarks here (DOC-320038A1).

He advanced four ideas for discussion:

1. Make it easier for AM operators to obtain and use FM translators;

2. Allow an across the board power increase’

3. Transition the AM band to digital; and

4. Move to an AM synchronous transmission system.

He’s welcoming input from everyone and I’d like to hear some of your thoughts as well.  I know FM translators have provided lots of help, but in most cases, they cover only a small portion of the AM station’s coverage area.  Not sure I like digital because of the potential for drops in signal.  But enough about me.. what do you think?



  1. I own a stand alone AM Radio Station in Eugene Oregon, I have always wondered why the FCC would give us the right to use a FM translator but then not give us our own window to apply for one. I talked to the NAB rep from our area about it, his reply buy an existing one from someone. In our area (Souther end of the Willamette Valley) there is know one that is willing to sell. I have tried for years. As it stands now I will never be able to get a translator for my stand alone AM. When a window opens, every low power app, every non profit will have first grabs.

    If the FCC says we can use a FM translator then they should open a window for stand alone AM’s to apply.

    There is another issue that has to be addressed when it comes to translators, and that is to restrict the big guys form putting ther HD 2 signals on FM translators, giving then a anolog frequency and basicly another radio station in the market.

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