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Don’t Kill the Messenger

Very few young people in this country actually listen to AM.

After a careful rereading of Scott Taylor’s article “AM, Losing Its Grip on Reality,” and in spite of some of the vehement rebuttal comments, he makes several valid points:

  1. Many small-market AM operators are struggling and in severe financial stress.
  2. Some AM owners are in fact terminating their operations due to more lucrative opportunities for their facilities and properties.
  3. Outdated analog equipment is still widely used by many stations.
  4. New technologies are often not being implemented into operations.
  5. Competing technologies are putting up significant competition.
  6. People are losing their jobs or having to work part time just to stay in the industry.

These are a few of the points that Mr. Taylor made, and it seems to me that all of these points are valid to one degree or another.

Very few young people in this country actually listen to AM. As a former educator teaching communications courses, I took yearly unscientific surveys and determined that in my classes, very few of my students had ever tuned into AM other than to see what the AM button does. Operators who do not change with the times are in serious trouble of being irrelevant.

Though many may disagree with Mr. Taylor’s comments, he simply stated what he observed firsthand. Obviously, many AM operators are doing the right things, making good business decisions, making a living and a profit. We do however, need to refrain from “wanting to kill the messenger” as to the precarious state of affairs that many small AM operators find themselves in.

Daryl Alligood
Retired Educator
Raleigh, N.C.