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Downs to Doyle on AM: “Peter, Hurry”

AM issues dominate “Radio Renaissance” discussion

“Peter, hurry.”

So said Bryan Broadcasting VP/GM Ben Downs to FCC Audio Division Bureau Chief Peter Doyle regarding AM revitalization.

Downs was referring to things the commission can do quickly to help struggling AM owners. Chief among the 160+ comments filed to the FCC about how to help AM is for the agency to open a special filing window just for AM owners who want to apply for an FM translator.

That’s something the agency could do quickly, panelists on the Radio Renaissance panel agreed here in Las Vegas at the NAB Show.

Doyle said the commission is reviewing the filed comments on AM revitalization “to make sense of what direction we want to go in.” The proceeding is in two parts, Doyle explained. The first part involves doing what’s easy and the second would need additional rulemaking.

Yet the opportunity to license an FM translator won’t work for every AM station owner. Downs predicts the skywave protection question will be controversial, noting the Class As will want to protect that listening versus stations that have to sign off early or go to low power during afternoon drive to protect the Class A skywave.