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Slow Erosion in AM Station Count Continues

LPFM category also shrinks a bit as translators continue to grow

The number of AM stations in the United States continued to decline slowly in the past year. There were 25 fewer licensed AM stations at the end of 2022 than a year earlier, according to fresh FCC data.

The AM total has fallen about 3% over the past five years, according to Radio World’s calculations, and now stands at 4,484.

The growth in FM translators continues. There were 84 more licenses in the category of “translators and boosters” at the end of 2022 from a year earlier. There are now 8,950, which is growth of 18% over five years, as the FM band continues to become ever more crowded.

The category for FM full-service commercial stations added 10 licenses and is now at 6,686, though that’s very slightly below its level of five years ago. Meanwhile, FM educational added three this year and now stands at 4,207, up about 2% since 2017.

The low-power FM category lost 54 licenses over the past year and at 2,015 total, it is down about 3% over five years.