Industry Comments on AM Revitalization

A series of NewsBytes based on comments to the FCC about AM revitalization; this page will be updated regularly around the comment period.

Stephen F. Smith and Tom F. King of Kintronic Labs offers proposals to improve the band

Mark Persons, a veteran contract engineer and RW columnist, suggests what the FCC can do to help many AM stations.

The AM band is not incurably sick, and high-tech resuscitation is not indicated, says broadcast engineer Fred Baumgartner.
EAS interest group has strong ideas about ‘revitalization.’
DOE of religious radio group with numerous AM properties briefly reviews the history of attempts to help AM and talks about the technical degradation of the band.

Weiner: FCC Must Get Back Into Inspection Business
A consultant active in interference remediation spells out his suggestions, including specific steps to avoid abuse of translators.

AM: Why All the Noise?
Not an official comment but on same topic of CE interference, from an RW reader.

DLR to FCC: No More New AMs
The engineering consulting firm of du Treil, Lundin & Rackley says there’s a lot the FCC can do to improve AM. The first the agency can do is not allow more applications for new AMs.

H&D Suggests Tax Benefit for Terminating ‘Substandard AMs’
Engineering firm Hatfield & Dawson suggests eliminating select AM stations that are underperforming.

NAB Urges FCC to Be More Flexible on FM Translator Moves
The NAB is weighing in on AM. It registers its thoughts on translators and interference guidelines.

Clear Channel Supports All-Digital AM Operation
While many commenters to the FCC say protecting nighttime clear channel skywave signals is an obsolete policy, Clear Channel Media & Entertainment disagrees. It also backs AM digital operation.

Butte: FM Translator Window for AM Is a Necessity
California-based small broadcaster advocates for FM translator preference for low-powered AMs, daytimers and more.

IBiquity Urges FCC to Okay All-Digital AM Broadcasting
IBiquity Digital supports many of the commission’s proposals to help AM in theory, but says the agency should ensure any changes to the AM technical rules do not negatively impact the HD Radio rollout.

AM Deserves “Urgent Regulatory Relief,” Engineers Say
The Society of Broadcast Engineers is glad the FCC wants to do something about the country’s AM band problems. One big area of focus for the SBE is RF interference.

Bemidji Radio Chimes In on AM Debate
Ed De La Hunt of Kelliher, Minn.’s Bemidji Radio Inc. has added a dissenting voice to the AM revitalization comments. He supports keeping the Ratchet Rule among other things.

Engineer Proposes Moving AMs off the Senior Band
In his comments to the FCC on AM revitalization, Engineer Dave Hershberger says the main problem with AM is it only works in cars now and is “mostly unusable” in residences. He suggests migration to Channels 5 and 6, perhaps DRM+ and more.

AM “Needs Strong Medicine to Survive”
A new AM ownership group is speaking its mind about AM reforms. They like much of what has been suggested but feel that more needs to be done — “half measures will only serve to extend a languishing demise of the medium,” they say. Top of the list, no more new analog AM stations.

Engineer Says AM Interference Will Continue
Sam Brown says that RF interference to AM broadcast is not going to go away. He also tells the commission that hybrid AM IBOC is a nonstarter.
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Comment List:

Thank goodness for the approx. 160 filers. Up to the original deadline date, it was pretty lonely. Glad to see the Commission has many, many opinions and proposals.
By Mark Heller on 3/20/2014
It seems to me that RF noise increase in time has no way back, the less to say, little way back, as power consumption increases in all countries, and the most technical ways applied to reduce noise will not reach the satisfactory threshold AM needs. The main obstacle is that noise is AM, and doesn'affect the FM Band. Sad to say it, but time will tell, AM is obsolete and it has already lost its battle, if not the entire war.I make the most of my living with AM Jobs, so I will have to recycle to other Technologies.
By rolf sandmeier on 2/1/2014
The AM band is correctly named "Antique Modulation." And therein lies the problem: If you dedicate a whole band to angry elderly people, the rest of the audience leaves. Moving it to FM or making it digital ain't gonna make the masses go out and buy or fix up an old radio. When half the band becomes the Justin Bieber network (or for that matter any form of music, in English) then the AM band will gain an audience. No technical improvements needed.
By Duke & Banner on 1/30/2014
In response to Cris denying that AM IBOC stations are shutting down, here is a link to the current status of AM-IBOC stations: I know both of my Clear Channel AM stations shut-off their IBOC and put their AM audio on their FM HD-2 feeds instead.
By John Pavlica on 1/29/2014
In my opinion, there must be too much RF in the air near the Clear Channel and NAB commentors on the FCC AM comments / proposals, as an "all-digital AM band" is the worst idea since the communications act of 1996. Skywave and digital mix as well as oil and water, especially in a thunderstorm. "Just say 'NO' to AM all-digital". This idea brought to you by the company that supports a 5KHz audio cut-off on their AM stations - that sounds horrible. Also, if CCM+E is so much in favor of AM digital, why did they shutdown their AM-HD stations in town if it's so great. Just say no.
By Dr. Kahn on 1/24/2014

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