Stats Show Growth in FM Licenses Over a Decade


How do the number of U.S. radio stations compare to a decade ago?

The FCC is out with its latest quarterly totals of licensed stations. Dec. 31, 2010, also happens to coincide with the end of a decade (at least, by some people’s reckoning; it depends on when you start “counting” a decade).

Regardless, Radio World has helpfully listed the FCC stats from a year ago and from 10 years ago, to better spot trends.

The increase in noncom FMs, LPFMs and FM translators is apparent.

Type

2010

2009

2000

AM

4,782

4,790

4,685

FM commercial

6,526

6,479

5,892

FM educational

3,311

3,151

2,140

Subtotal

14,619

14,420

12,717





LPFMs

859

864

N/A

FM translators/boosters

6,131

6,155

3,243

Total

21,609

21,439

15,960


The next time someone asks you how many radio stations there are in the United States, you can say, “As of the end of 2010? There were 14,619; or there were 15,478 including low-power FMs; or there were 21,609 if you also include translators and boosters stations.”

Including the various kinds of TV licenses too, the commission in 2010 counted a total for all broadcast licenses of 30,630.




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