Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


AM Station Totals Continue Their Slow Erosion

Commission releases its latest quarterly license totals

The Federal Communications Commission has released its latest quarterly count of broadcast licenses.

As of the end of June 2023, there were 4,464 licensed AM stations. That total was down by 35 stations from 12 months ago and down 270 from June of 2013, according to Radio World calculations based on FCC figures. It continues a trend of gradual but consistent erosion in the AM numbers.

The number of FM commercial stations is 6,675, down by 14 stations in a year but up 69 from 10 years ago.

By comparison the FM education category continues to grow, adding 52 stations in the past year to reach 4,236, and up 279 stations from 10 years ago. The number will continue to grow given expansion following the 2021 window for additional new NCEs.

The category of FM translators and boosters rarely has shown declines in recent years, but compared to a year ago it actually is down by 16 licenses to 8,935. That is still 2,891 more translators and boosters than a decade ago, due in part to the initiative that gave many AM stations their own FM translators.

And the number of low-power FMs continued its slow erosion to 1,989 at the end of June, down by 45 stations over the past year. Ten years ago there were only 797 LPFMs but their number subsequently surged to more than 2,100. Later this year the FCC will open a new window for LPFMs.

For a closer look at recent trends see our story from January “Radio by the (FCC) Numbers.”