Former FCC Commissioners Copps, McDowell Call On Commission To Open AM-Only Filing Window For FM Translators
September 23, 2015 at 10:05 AM (PT)
Former FCC Commissioners MICHAEL COPPS and ROBERT MCDOWELL, often on opposite sides of broadcasting issues, came together for an op-ed piece in THE HILL TODAY (9/23) calling on the Commission to open an AM-only filing window for FM translators as part of the AM revitalization program.
In the article, COPPS and MCDOWELL note AM's downward spiral and how some stations have found help by using FM translator simulcasts. "Translators have been a boon for those stations lucky enough to find one, but too many AM stations are stuck on the sidelines because demand for translators far outstrips supply in many areas. Opening the promised AM-only translator application window would help fix this problem," COPPS and MCDOWELL note. "In fact, such a window is the only way many AM radio stations will ever be able to obtain a translator and provide improved, expanded service to their listeners. This approach is especially important for women and minority owners of AM stations, who are more likely to run small standalone stations on shoe-string budgets. Any other steps the FCC may take to help AM radio, no matter how well intentioned, would be relatively small change compared to an AM-only translator window, and do little to meet the FCC’s expressed goal of revitalizing AM radio."
NAB EVP/Communications DENNIS WHARTON said of the post, "NAB hopes the Chairman will listen clearly to the bipartisan calls from past and current FCC members calling for meaningful revitalization of AM radio."