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Canadian AMs Leaving Airwaves

Move allows AM operating revenues to grow, Statistics Canada says

While engineers here debate the best technical boosts for AM and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai has called for an AM revitalization effort to form at the commission in 2013, in Canada, AM owners continue to call it quits.

Since 2009, 16 AMs have gone off the air as several have moved to the FM band and companies closed the least profitable stations, according to Statistics Canada.

The moves have allowed AM operating revenues to grow by 1.1% in 2011, to C$311 million.

In 2011, the FM radio sector had operating revenues of C$1.3 billion, a 4.3% increase.

A quick search of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission site shows 727 commercial licensed radio stations, not broken out by service.

That compares to 4,754 commercial licensed AMs and 6,568 FMs in the most recent quarter in the U.S., according to the FCC.