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Tampa AM Station Buys Transmitter to Go All-Digital

Neal Ardman moves ahead with his plan to flip the switch

96.1 FM Caliente logo
WMGG is the 1470 signal listed in the 96.1 FM Caliente logo.

Tampa’s WMGG hopes to be broadcasting in all-digital format on the AM band by early next year.

We told you earlier about the plans by NIA Broadcasting President Neal Ardman. Now transmitter maker Nautel reports that Ardman has ordered the necessary equipment.

“The station has announced the purchase of a Nautel NX3HD with HD IBOC exciter upgrade and a Nautel HD MultiCast+ Importer/Exporter; delivery is anticipated prior to the end of 2020,” Nautel stated in a release.

The only current full-time all-digital AM station in the United States is WWFD in Frederick, Md. The Federal Communications Commission recently announced it will allow all-digital transmission for any station that wishes to use it. Analog-only AM radios will not be able to tune to the signal.

Nautel quoted Ardman saying, “Continuing with analog broadcasting in 2021 when the technology exists to provide great content with great audio, and to NOT do it, is unthinkable.”

He plans to notify listeners of the switch and encourage them to purchase an HD Radio if they don’t have one already, or listen to the station’s analog FM translator or online stream.

WMGG has an FM translator on 101.9 MHz. Both signals are part of “96.1 FM Caliente,” the radio home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Spanish-language network.