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In Washington State, Celebrating AMs’ FM Translators

Broadcast association calls attention to new FM signals from a half-dozen AM broadcasters

The Washington State Association of Broadcasters is calling attention to the new FM signals of a half-dozen AM broadcasters, the result of recent FCC efforts at AM revitalization.

The association issued an announcement headlined “Six Regional AM Radio Stations Gain a Foothold on the FM Dial.” It noted that more than two dozen new low-powered FMs had recently been authorized by the FCC, some of which are on the air; but now, the commission has made it possible for a handful of AMs to join the FM band too.

“Unlike their non-commercial, low-powered predecessors, these FM signals can have more than twice the power and can operate as commercial signals. The programming on the six new FM radio signals will be a simulcast of the AM signals and include sports, classic country, ethnic and faith-based offerings,” it stated.

Commissioner Ajit Pai said recently that at last count, the FCC had during this year’s application windows received 939 applications for translators from AM broadcasters, granting 824 of them.

In Washington, the state association now says, the Skotdal family plans simulcasts of KRKO(AM) Fox Sports 1380 over 95.3 MHz and KKXA(AM) Classic Country 1520 on 101.1 MHz in the greater Everett area.

XL Communications outlet KZIZ 1560 AM, which airs Punjabi Radio, is adding a signal on 95.3 in the greater Kent area with programming for the southeast Asian population.

Radio engineer Jim Dalke, licensee of KARR 1460 AM in Kirkland, will simulcast on 98.5. Dalke discussed this station in a talk at the 2016 NAB Show.

Salem Communications, licensee of Christian talker KGNW 820 AM in Burien, adds a signal on 104.1 that will originate from Newport Hills and serve Bellevue, Issaquah and Seattle.

And Catholic programming offered by Sacred Heart Radio Inc. on 1050 AM KBLE in the greater Seattle area will soon find a slot at 100.3 with coverage of Bothell, Lynnwood, Kenmore, Edmonds, Shoreline and Mountlake Terrace.

The association quotes Chuck Maylin, general manager of KRKO/KKXA, saying, “When FM licenses were issued in the ’60s and ’70s, Snohomish County and Everett were basically ignored. Now Everett finally has two commercial FM radio stations of its own.”