Crawford Broadcasting is following Clear Channel's lead and reducing its audio bandwidth on its AM stations. RW Online broke the story about Clear Channel's change to limit audio bandwidth to 5 KHz and 6 KHz, depending on whether a station is music intensive or not. The effort is aimed at reducing interference and noise and improving loudness without increasing distortion.
Crawford DOE Cris Alexander states in a memo to his engineers: "We have been experimenting with this for some time now in our Denver cluster, and our conclusions agree with those of Clear Channel.In addition to the above-cited benefits, reducing the
audio bandwidth now prepares the way for eventual conversion to HD Radio, which we anticipate for most stations in the next two years, depending on FCC action on the pending Notice of Inquiry."
"Making the change now will serve to prepare listeners for the analog sound that will exist when we turn on our digital carriers," Alexander states.
Crawford will make the change immediately in AMs that have digital processors. Stations using analog processors can adjust High Frequency Equalization control to minimum to remove the preemphasis and serve to reduce bandwidth.