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FCC Radio Count: AM Loses a Couple, FM Adds

FM translators and boosters grew by 200

The number of radio licenses increased in the first quarter of 2017 from the end of 2016, according to the most recent broadcast license count released by the Federal Communications Commission. While there were three fewer AM stations (4,666), there were eight more FM commercial stations (6,754) and 10 more FM noncoms (4,112). FM translators and boosters boomed by 200 for a most recent total of 7,453. Low-power FMs also went to town, increasing 246 for a total of 1,924. 

There was one less full-power TV station and 11 fewer TV translators. As of March 31, 2017, there were 1,777 full-power TV licensees compared to 1,778 at the end of last year. The total was down by one VHF. There were six fewer UHF translators—2,905 compared to 2,911; and five fewer VHF translators—873 compared to 878. The number of Class A licensees remained the same.

All told, there were 32,846 active U.S. broadcast licenses as of March 31 compared to 32,397 at the end of 2016. The FCC publishes broadcast license totals quarterly.