Your browser is out-of-date!

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


FCC License Numbers Track Growth in NCE FMs

There are 101 more noncom educational FMs licensed than there were a year ago

Here are the latest station totals from the FCC. These are the total number of licenses in each service in the United States as of the end of March 2024.

  • AM 4,427
  • FM commercial 6,663
  • FM educational 4,320
  • FM translators and boosters 8,913
  • Low-power FM 1,960

The number of AM station licenses continues to decline over time. It is down by 17 licenses from December and by 45 from one year ago. (A decade ago there were more than 4,700 AMs.)

The number of FM commercial licenses is relatively stable, down 18 from December 2023 but at the same number as a year ago.

The FM NCE category is growing, following the 2021 application window. There are 34 more noncom FM licenses now than three months ago and 101 more than a year ago.

The number of FM translators and boosters is down 14 from December and 26 from a year ago, and the number of LPFMs is down seven from December and 39 from a year ago.

But we can expect the LPFM numbers to start growing again soon as the impact of the window to apply for new stations takes effect.

We’ll also be watching to see what happens in the translator and booster category over time. Stations will be able to advantage of the FCC’s decision to allow geotargeting, which presumably will give a boost to boosters; but until the final rules for that are settled, the boosters will be under one-year experimental licenses. Perhaps the FCC also will see fit finally to break out translators and boosters as separate totals in its reports.

For a look at the trend lines for these categories over 10 years, see this post from January.