In Defense of Translator Networks

Should commercial operators have the whole band? Some appear to think so.
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Should commercial operators have the whole band? Some appear to think so.

I read with interest the letter from Larry Tighe (“Translator Networks Have to Go,” Nov. 3) regarding his thoughts on saving the AM band. His solution does nothing in fact to save AM. His solution is to mess with the FM band. Judging from the number of AMs filing for a translator, most are not interested and some can’t find a frequency because of NCE stations.

I see where he has two FM translators in the commercial band re-broadcasting his AM station. Should commercial operators have the whole band? Some appear to think so.

His website is a good one, and it looks as though he has a real good balance of local programming; he even has a preacher on the station. My congratulations for a job well done. But a lot of people would not be served if his idea came to pass.

Some people do not like the mindless drivel heard on many stations just to fill time. Some of the music is not worth listening to; much of the news is anything but fair and balanced and is, in fact, quite distorted or never reported at all. Many listeners like to hear programming that is edifying to the spirit; music that is decent; and news that reports the truth not heard on many network newscasts.

I imagine Mr. Tighe is referring to Christian networks like EMF, CSN, MBN, FLR, TBN, CBN and others that program Christian programming 24/7. Many parts of this nation do not have Christian programming. Does he think Christian listeners should have nothing to listen to? Does his station have listeners who willingly support his type of programming by sending support money directly to him because he does such a great job?

There are hundreds of thousands of radio listeners and TV viewers who like what they see or hear on translators enough to support their choice of programming. And believe it or not, not all stations or networks are in it for the money.

Most believe in the message they are putting out over the airwaves; and it costs them just as much money to operate as it does a commercial station. The big difference is that they are restricted from selling time in the manner of a commercial station, and are limited to the first 20 channels of 100 on the band. Again, is it greed that makes anyone want it all? What about the NPR and the classical stations? Should they also be forced off the air?

Mr. Tighe, you bought an AM station and I think you probably do a good job. But why don’t you learn to live with the restrictions that were in place when you bought your AM? NCE operators have their restrictions; maybe they should be permitted to sell commercials. You should try operating with grants for a year or so, it might be harder than you think. And yes, I do engineer for both NCE and commercial broadcasters.

Jim Teel
Roswell, N.M.