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Take Fred’s Challenge

Anybody out there has an AM station in the western United States (say, west of the Mississippi) that they don’t want, we’ll pay you $5,000 for it.

One in a series of responses from readers to RW’s Sept. 1 article exploring whether AM radio is “still relevant.”

What are you guys trying to do? Alienate half your readers?

It’s one thing to question the future of AM radio. It’s entirely another to essentially pronounce it dead, especially in view of the fact that many AM stations are thriving.

I said this in 1986 at an FCC conference in Dallas on “saving” the AM band and I’ll say it again, this time with a challenge:

AM radio is not dead. Many AM programmers, however, are brain dead.

Tell you what. Anybody out there has an AM station in the western United States (say, west of the Mississippi) that they don’t want, we’ll pay you $5,000 for it. And if we don’t make a profit within a year, we’ll make a donation to the journalism school at the nearest university in the exact amount we spent trying. And I promise you we’ll make that profit operating in “the public interest, convenience and necessity,” in case you folks have forgotten that phrase.

I don’t care if it’s a daytimer, a Class IV or in the middle of dirt holding the world together. As long as it has a license and it is within a reasonable distance from one of our properties, I’ll take on all comers — especially the naysayers like Randy Stine.

Oh yeah. We won’t be using HD Radio in that challenge because it doesn’t work and is useless!

I don’t deny we have some problems. But to pronounce a medium dead that has more receivers out there than any other medium by a factor of maybe two is just silly.

Any takers out there?

The author is managing member of Ely Radio LLC in Winnemucca, Nev.

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