I happened upon an old Philco portable radio with the little wooden roll-top cover that had been sitting for years in my storage area. It was one of the type that ran on a big DC battery, or AC.
Being the curious type, I took it to an electrical outlet and plugged it in. I figured I would either get smoke or nothing, but amazingly I got audio.
I listened to the AM stations that I had been “enduring” on much newer radios. The next day, when I wanted to catch some news and information, I turned it on again.
I think I now know how to fix the AM band. Forget HD Radio, forget moving AM broadcasters to a new FM expanded band, forget requiring satellite receivers to carry HD Radio, even forget the old AM stereo.
If the FCC wants to fix the AM band, require all AM radios priced over $20 shipped into the country to be able to sound as good as a 60-year-old portable tube radio does, and most of the AM problems will take care of themselves.
Consulting Broadcast Engineer