NAB thinks it’s a good idea for the FCC to open an application window for those AM stations owners who wish to apply for an FM translator. The idea was floated by then FCC Acting Chair Mignon Clyburn at the fall NAB/RAB Radio Show and has gained much support as something the agency could do fairly quickly to help owners of struggling AM stations.
“While translators obtained in this window should generally remain linked to the acquiring AM station, NAB submits that it would be reasonable to allow such translators to be transferred under certain limited circumstances, such as financial hardship,” the NAB tells the FCC regarding the effort to relax some transmission and/or equipment regulations governing AM.
The broadcast lobby also supports relaxing the proposed limit of one FM translator per AM, to accommodate stations that have unusually large or irregularly shaped service areas, as well as opening the filing window to all AMs equally, regardless of station class or ownership structure.
NAB further supports commenters’ requests for more flexibility in the use of cross-service translators. The trade group recommends that, instead of limiting a translator’s 60 dBμ contour to the “smaller” of an AM station’s 25-mile radius or daytime 2 mV/m contour, the FM translator’s signal should be able to cover the greater of these benchmarks. “This approach will enable enhanced service for more listeners, especially as communities’ boundaries and population shift. Specifically, under this proposal, listeners located beyond a station’s 25-mile radius but within the 2 mV/m contour would receive new or greatly improved service.”
NAB also calls on the commission to consider ways of handling the potential displacement of FM translators and agrees with many of the commenters supporting proposals to relax both daytime and nighttime community coverage standards for AM stations.
The commission received some 240 filings on AM revitalization.
Reply comments were due to MB Docket 13-249 yesterday.