About Us › Forums › General Discussion › AM voluntary digital?
May 22, 2021 at 9:34 am #117703
I hope you are right about the reasons you cited as to why digital won’t make it, although a bad economy as the reason is not good either but I see what you are saying.
This digital subject is relevant to us as it’s connected to the survival of our hobby.
I just bought a new Kia Forte as someone smashed into my Chev Cobalt and it was a write off and the new Kia has a regular AM/FM radio….NO DIGITAL OR HD.
I have said that people are not going to flock back to radio just because it goes digital, even if the economy is good.
Why does it matter to writers of articles in a magazine so much to have digital conversion?
Don’t listen if you don’t like it.
The mellenials won’t become radio listeners if AM goes digital.
As for radio listening done in cars even that’s less and less as cars come with bluetooth connectivity and they just pair it with phones and don’t listen to radio.
Part 15 is best listened too in one location not in a car as you move in and out of the signal area too fast unless you are in one location.
My listeners are at home in their houses.
As for digital as far as Canada goes I got it from the “horses mouth” so to speak from ISED(Industry Science and Economic Development) that looks after all spectrum management that no plans are in the works to go to digital and do away with the AM analog band. Hobby radio will survive here! The CRTC agent I spoke to also said that while I should contact ISED “there is no plan that I know of to end the AM band”.
I also asked about the expansion of the FM band and was told there is no plan at the present time to do that either, but it is under “some” consideration.May 24, 2021 at 5:47 am #117716
This Morning, April 24th. WFAS-AM, licensed to White Plains, New York, has gone to all Digital AM. I knew all about this months ago. This station is owned by Cumulus Media, a major corporation that I think is still in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. They sold 95.5 WPLJ-FM in NYC to Educational Media Foundation, known as K-Love some time back. The great Scott Shannon was on 95.5 WPLJ, then moved to 101.1. WCBS-FM. He saw the writing on the wall about Cumulus. I think Scott Shannon knew what Cumulus was going to do. They let all the staff go at 95.5 WPLJ, including my “Good Friend”, Race Taylor, who did afternoons for me (Voice Tracked) for my Small Town/Small Market, 1,000 Watt, AM Station.
We’ll, I guess Mary Berner, President of Cumulus Media (headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia) thinks this technology is going to be such a great investment. If it was me, before I pull such a thing, I would have had a FM Translator to Simulcast the AM Digital Signal. They claimed they had no listeners to their former CBS Sports Format on 1230 WFAS, so it’s a experiment for Cumulus Media. With this mornings conversion to all AM Digital, they change to a news/talk format. Of course, you can hear “The all new AM Digital 1230 WFAS “Streaming On Line”. I listened a few minutes this morning, no different than listening to my Streaming Signal.
WFAS AM 1230 is licensed for 1,000 watts, using a folded unipole as the radiating antenna on their tower. Carl T. Jones Engineering Group redesign the Unipole and new components for the ATU from Kintronics were bought. Testing last week, they claimed they did show a gain of maybe 10-15 miles in coverage, no analog noise, and “FM Quality” sound, and reaching into the Bronx and Queens, NY.
Will this go anywhere? I live in the Eastern South of the U.S. The Economy is horrible here. New cars are not selling off the showroom or lots of the new car dealerships. All the new cars 2021 into 2022 will have analog AM and FM in them, we’ll maybe HD FM as the big corporate groups are using their HD Channels on FM. The small town FMs are not.
Cumulus Media says it will integrate its 415 radio stations into the hybrid radio system available on Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicles. My opinion, nobody here can go into debt for that! Is GM, Ford, Telsa, and Toyota in the United States going to make AM Digital a standard in fleet (cars and trucks)? Don’t know yet.
As I told Mark on this forum, I hate to bring up U.S. Politics, but the President Joe Biden Administration has killed jobs as they killed the Keystone Pipeline, then the Colonial Pipeline was hacked. Inflation is rising. A week with NO GAS at the Pumps, Groceries and just taking care of your family (especially if you have kids and saving for college) is becoming worse and expensive. Could this be a “bullet shot” that AM Digital won’t make it, as the demo, 40 and below. have gone to Streaming Music Services like Spotify and Pandora. FM Radio is their last resort. Most of them don’t know or care about AM Radio ages 35 and under in the United States. People 55 plus only listen to AM Radio. at least in my neck of the woods, and many of the AMs have FM Translators they may not want to give up so quick. Too much of a investment into them. I know, I applied for a FM Translator for my AM, 1KW Station.
We’ll, that’s what I’m thinking as it stands now. I can’t say I’m right about the Future of AM Digital, but I’m now just a retired AM Radio Station Owner, now just a part of the 55+ Retired Consumers, Disabled, on a fixed income, and my neighbors who live around me are in the same position.
Glad I got out of being Small Town/Small Market, AM Radio Station Owner just right before the “Pandemic Quarrentine of 2020” came. Me and my Wife wouldn’t have made it! Sorry gentleman (and ladies) for my long editorial on AM Digital and the lower to middle class masses around me and where I’m from.May 25, 2021 at 4:09 am #117731
This came out in Radio World this morning. More Licensees are turning in their AM Licensees to the FCC in the United States. While I contemplate that I wished I had mine back, there are obstacles that the Former Commissioner Ajit Pai of the Federal Communications Commission (under Former President Donald Trump) put in place that when the Renewal Times were to come up on “AM Licensees”. Commissioner Pai opened the doors for “Everybody and his Brother” (a figure of speech) to file a objection against you, the Licensee. This hurts small business licensees, the “Mom and Pops” like me and my wife.
This is the “Reason” why I Retired from Commercial Broadcasting. Now, I’m seeing myself wanting to fight for Part 15 AM Analog. My thoughts are the AM Analog Receivers will be with us for the next 20 maybe 25 years. Most of us have reached 50 plus years old, time enough to enjoy AM Analog. Don’t worry about Elon Musk of Tesla. We all knew all along he wasn’t for Analog AM.
Still, the Rules for Part 15 AM should be modified, but I learned as a FCC Licensee, be conservative on what we ask for. I propose 500 mw, and a decent, long enough ground lead for protection for Chez Procaster and Hamilton Rangemaster Transmitters. The FCC, and the CRTC may buy this idea.May 25, 2021 at 11:12 am #117734
I agree 500mW and a little relaxing of ground leads would be better and not cause any problems. In Canada it’s ISED (formerly Industry Canada), spectrum management that looks after this here. CRTC regulates programing only.
The analog radios will be around forever. Even in 30 years you will still be able to get a 1950s tube radio working fine in great condition, all kinds will be around.
At least in Canada as I can only speak for my country no plans are in the works to go digital and end the AM analog band and in this country it is already for hobby radio as the band is virtually empty outside of Southern Ontario and a few cities and even in the Toronto area there’s lots of space.
We have that here too where an application for a radio license has to get approved and the public has input one way or another.May 30, 2021 at 4:40 am #117753timinboveyParticipant
Total posts : 826
The article ends with “But, for the other AMs, it is simply a realization that FM and audio streaming are more viable options for local consumers.”
Is there further content if I subscribe and log in? Or is this the actual final sentence of the article? In which case I call BS. Unless this goes on to tell us the 4 stations, and quote their licensees as having states this, I call BS.
My world is surrounded by plenty of “Mom and Pop” AM analog stations. Now, I’ve only lived here 33 years but I know of no AM’s within 100 miles of me that have turned in their licenses yet. The AM “Mom and Pop” I’ve worked for for the past 33 years is doing just fine.
I suspect in many cases all this FM, digital, streaming, blah blah blah problems are just easy excuses to bow out. I could list 30 stations in my region, AM only, doing just fine. And they do so because they’ve learned to monetize their strengths. They are vital integral parts of their communities.
TIBMay 30, 2021 at 9:36 am #117755
Good Morning Tim,
I don’t know if you are in the United States or Canada. I’ve been discussing this what I call, ” A Corporate Push” in the United States to Address again, as we went through in 2004-2005, a push for Digital AM Radio, that failed.
Since Hubbard Broadcasting has taken a station they own, WWFD-AM in Washington, D.C., and poured maybe millions of dollars into taking IBOC and rebranding it Xperia, showing this failed technology is for the best for the United States.
Paul McLane, Editor in Cheif of Radio World in the United States is allowing these stories of the “Gloom and Doom” of AM Digital Radio to be printed On Line in their daily email blast. My thoughts are this, since all these newspaper and trade magazine companies are failing in the United States because of the Internet, their audience is shrinking, and they can’t sell ads around thier articles. At one time, Radio World catered to the Mom and Pop Operators, like myself who owned a 1,000 Watt, AM Daytimer (with Pre Sunrise/Post Sunset) and was very helpful.
They need people like “YOU” to send a commentary to Radio World to show AM Digital is insanity! Also, I was against all these AM Stations receiving FM Translators under Former FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, as in my opinion, it is NOT AM REVITALIZATION! The owner of the AM Station ignores it’s AM Signal and promotes the FM Translator as it’s main programming signal people should listen to. It’s DEAD WRONG! Tim, I can show you and Mark many, upon many examples of this in my part of the country.
In my neck of the woods, there are very few AMs that do not have FM Translators! It’s dead wrong!
I told Mark that we should get with Richard Fry, once again here in the United States, ask for a change in Part 15 AM Broadcasting. I’ve been involved in Rulemakings with the FCC as a Licensed Commercial AM Broadcaster, so I recommend we be “Conservative” on what we ask for.
My research shows through another Consultant Engineer is we could ask to increase power to 500 mw, and a modification to the ground lead. The ground lead system Richard Fry proposed is very Conservative for Analog, Part 15 AM. You want to know what our problem is? Nobody wants to bend together and push for this. If we don’t try to push Part 15 AM Broadcasting in the United States, it could dry up. We wouldn’t be asking for much since we all use the 1610 to 1700 KHz Expanded Band where is less interference, especially at night. The Chez Procaster and Hamilton Rangemaster can be modified for this power. We don’t need to be concerned about Part 15 FM at all!
The FCC has not looked at all to the Part 15 AM and FM Rules since 1991. So much has changed since then. I learn the Part 15 Rules on Broadcasting were written to scare off “High Schools” to attempt trying to build a Part 15 Station to train students broadcasting. This must have been done in the Audio Division and the Engineering Division in the FCC.
I don’t see AM Digital going over great right now in the United States because Inflation is on the rise, Automobile Manufacturers still don’t manufacture or on line with AM Digital. My guess is that it will be 15-20 years if AM Digital catches on, if it does at all. My opinion, despite Radio World’s hype of it, the younger demographic 13 to 35 could careless less about AM or doesn’t know about it. Elon Musk of Tesla doesn’t want to have no part in AM Digital.June 17, 2021 at 8:13 am #117819
I saw a article in Radio World that CHLO in Toronto, Ontario in Canada is moving in the direction of AM Digital. While from what I understand as of this point, the transition from analog to digital on AM in the United States is strictly voluntary, we have advocates like Larry Langford (who is really just a commentator in Radio World) and Michelle Bradley of the REC in pushing AM Digital.
We all know why Bradley wants it. This is to free up the crowded FM Band of “AM Translators” on the FM Band to make way for more LPFMs and the Rule Making she has file to allow LPFMs to increase power from 100 Watts to 250 Watts. It remains to be seen if Jessica Rosenworcel, Democrat (interm head of the FCC) and it’s Five Commissioners are going to allow this. Anybody can file Electronic Comments. I’ll post the Rule Making Number on this site or it can easily be found.June 17, 2021 at 1:42 pm #117820
Here it is on Wikipedia…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CHLO_(AM)
They are a multicultural station down at 530 kLz and they went to HD on June 8/21
Their analog station is still there.
I guess HD means digital but senseless! Like the multicultural audience, the south Asian demographic it targets have digital radios to listen.
Canada has NO plans to eliminate the analog band and either has the USA….
This from Wikipedia….The FCC has not indicated any intent to discontinue analog radio broadcasts as it did with analog television broadcasts, because it would not result in the recovery of any radio spectrum rights which could be sold. Thus, there is no deadline by which consumers must buy an HD Radio receiver. In addition, there are many more analog AM/FM radio receivers than there were analog televisions that relied on over-the-air signals, and many of these are car receivers or portable units that cannot be upgraded.June 17, 2021 at 2:12 pm #117824
As for Michelle Bradley she should be pushing for expanding the FM band. But the FCC wants to make money by selling or “leasing” those vacated TV spots which includes from 88 down to 76 mHz. Have no idea what Canada is doing with the space.June 18, 2021 at 1:23 am #117829
Good Luck to Michelle, those FM Frequencies are being eyed by one of the biggest religious broadcasters in the United States, Educational Media Foundation, better known as K-Love! They just moved their headquarters from a Liberal State (California) and City to Nashville, Tennessee. K-Love is in bed with the biggest commercial broadcaster in America, iHeart Radio. She knows damn well she can’t fight them. There us another big religious broadcaster they will have to fight. Let me say this, it will be fun to watch. Right now, no mention from the current FCC Interm Commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel about those channels below 88.1 in the U.S.
I’m sure there will be a Auction on them because the Biden Administration has the United States so far in debt now! If you saw any of the G7 Summit this week, look what Joe Biden did! I wonder what your P.M., Justin Trudeau saying now? He was at the G7 Summit with President Joe Biden.
Radio, it’s a Politics, sorry for my rant!
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