The way a Clear Channel corporate PD, Darryl Parks, phrased his opinions recently about the state of AM and the FCC’s proposed revitalization efforts have all but drowned out the message.
The former WLW(AM), Cincinnati PD essentially said in a blog post, which has been taken down, that the proposals would not reduce, but actually cause, more interference on the AM band.
Some commenters posted items below the story on our site that agree with him, and also suggest, among other things, that the quality of the AM portion of modern receivers may be partially to blame for the senior band’s current interference problems.
Womble Carlyle’s John Garziglia told us much of Park’s arguments didn’t make sense. For example, “While Mr. Parks is free to have an opinion about the proper technical allocation of FM translators, tying his interference argument to the carriage of AM stations on FM translators is nonsensical.”
However, Garziglia does agree receiver quality is an issue, one the radio industry has “done little with.”
Ben Downs of Bryan Broadcasting told us “comments like Parks’ give the impression that AM broadcasters aren’t appreciative of Commissioner Pai’s attention to AM this past year, though we are excited for the initiative. Parks’ stations may never need to take advantage of the items in the NPRM but most of the broadcasters I speak with will take immediate advantage of these changes.”
Downs realizes Parks wasn’t speaking for Clear Channel, since he said the broadcaster has worked on the AM revitalization effort, but he calls Parks’ comments, dismissing “the work of dozens of people over two years ‘beyond not helpful,’” and “friendly fire that hurts radio’s chances for the next step in the process.”
Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs, too, said in a jacoBlog that he doesn’t appreciate the way Parks dismissed the recent Radio Show, stating “too often, radio’s self-haters — people who make a living from the business but torpedo it any time they get the chance — go after conferences and conventions like the Radio Show for no apparent reason.”