Cumulus is planning to convert an AM talk radio station in the New York City suburbs to all-digital transmission next month.
WFAS(AM) in White Plains will use the slogan “Digital AM 1230 HD: New Talk for New York.”
The company filed an application with the FCC that it plans to flip on May 24. Its website carries a notice advising listeners that analog radios will no longer hear the station, but that listeners can find it using an HD receiver, online streaming, mobile app or smart speaker.
“Broadcasting in digital will eliminate annoying static and interference, improve the sound quality to equal FM radio and streaming, and extend the range for clear reception,” it told listeners.
WFAS will use the enhanced mode of digital HD Radio.
The decision by one of the country’s biggest broadcast chains to commit an AM frequency to all-digital is a notable one.
The Federal Communications Commission recently approved the option for stations to take this step. But as Radio World has reported, there are only a couple of other stations on the air in the country with all-digital AM, including the Hubbard station WWFD in Maryland that has been a kind of national test case.
Cumulus declined to comment on its plans for the station in response to a query from Radio World.
In Florida, broadcaster NIA Broadcasting, run by Neal Ardman, had flipped one station, WMGG, and told Radio World that as of today he is waiting on a transmitter with plans to flip WTMP, which is also in the Tampa area.