“It is not too early to call the relocation program a resounding success.”
So says FCC Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake. He took note of the closing earlier this week of the second filing window to allow AM stations to relocate FM translators up to 250 miles to rebroadcast their signals, which is helping some provide new nighttime service. And he provided numbers about how many of these involved changes of ownership.
“While the second of these windows just closed, it is not too early to call the relocation program a resounding success,” Lake wrote in a blog post Wednesday. “In the first window, which was open to smaller and daytime-only AM stations, 671 relocation applications were filed, and over 90% of those applications already have been granted. In the second window, open to all classes of AM stations, 420 relocation applications were received, with 265 granted thus far. (As RW noted yesterday, the total number of applications was almost 1,100 — from a total AM station census of 4,671.)
“Though a few of the AM licensees already owned or could lease the necessary translators, a substantial majority of the licensees participating in the windows chose to acquire the relocating translators, thereby ensuring a permanent place for their programming on the FM dial. Seven hundred sixty-six translator assignment applications were filed during the two windows, and 631 of those already have been granted.”
Lake lauded the Audio Division’s employees: “These filing windows would not have succeeded without the outstanding effort of the Audio Division’s engineering staff, who processed the modification applications, its legal staff, who expedited the companion assignment applications, and its managers, who orchestrated the effort with great skill.”