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NewsArt Vanishing local stations

w2xq

Mentor
Joined
Jul 13, 2004
Messages
1,874
Location
Burlington County, NJ
Interesting piece. I've seen similar stories in decades past, focusing on stations in West Virginia and Tennessee and the central plains. An unfortunate decline, as there is interesting listening when in range of the smaller stations on the regional and local stations. In the Appalachians, the signals only persist in the valley. Cross a mountain, lose one station and find another one.
 

GB46

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Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
313
Location
British Columbia, Canada
The local AM station in my own hometown -- WCTC in New Brunswick, NJ -- has changed only slightly since I moved away during the 1960s. It's now owned by a corporate group based in Florida, but still has local content, mostly talk. It also still runs a measly 1000 watts on 1450. That's the station where the news anchor Dave Marash got his start; I met him in 1964 when I appeared as a guest on his show (I had won some stupid contest). Ironically, I was extremely mike shy during the show, despite spending many hours in front of a mike in my ham station.
 

spongella

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 21, 2014
Messages
496
Location
Western NJ
Here in NJ we are fortunate as there's a number of small stations still existing. Also am close enough to Philadelphia and get smaller broadcasters with local news, ethnic shows, local adverts, etc. When on the road am continuously tuning around the AM band for stations. Distracted driving in a way hi hi.
 

jbm32

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2006
Messages
23
Location
Augusta, GA
I just read that some AM stations want to go total digital (DRM) with no AM signal. Why don't they just go FM? Who is going to want to buy a new radio just to hear those stations. I would like to see the FCC turn the band over to the big blowtorch stations running 50 Kw or even more.
I miss the good old days of clear channel stations. They would be good for national emergencies, hurricane and tornado information. I can remember traveling at night, listening to the same station all night with no interference. We've got the radios; all we need are the stations to listen to.
 

krokus

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
3,774
Location
Southeastern Michigan
I just read that some AM stations want to go total digital (DRM) with no AM signal. Why don't they just go FM? Who is going to want to buy a new radio just to hear those stations. I would like to see the FCC turn the band over to the big blowtorch stations running 50 Kw or even more.
I miss the good old days of clear channel stations. They would be good for national emergencies, hurricane and tornado information. I can remember traveling at night, listening to the same station all night with no interference. We've got the radios; all we need are the stations to listen to.
With DRM, the broadcaster can use most of their existing equipment, just changing the exciter.

If they changed to FM, the consumer would need a different radio.

Sent using Tapatalk
 

jbm32

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2006
Messages
23
Location
Augusta, GA
I guess I didn't make myself clear. I meant moving their station to FM on the FM band, and shutting down the AM transmitter.
I don't know anyone who doesn't have several FM band radios around. We have one AM station here that already broadcasts
on FM also.
 

a29zuk

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
596
Location
SE Michigan
I would like to see the FCC turn the band over to the big blowtorch stations running 50 Kw or even more.
I miss the good old days of clear channel stations. They would be good for national emergencies, hurricane and tornado information. I can remember traveling at night, listening to the same station all night with no interference. We've got the radios; all we need are the stations to listen to.
Yes...the FCC went wrong when they let all of the "Clear Channel" frequencies get cluttered up with lower power stations at night time. Years ago the "Clear Channel" frequencies pretty much had one east coast and one west coast station at night. Some had a Hawaii or Alaska station added to them. It was fun listening to 640 KFI out of Los Angeles in the late evening.

There are three designations of frequencies on the broadcast band. Clear, Regional, and Local. I wish they would have kept them that way!

Jim
 

Boombox

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2012
Messages
822
I just read that some AM stations want to go total digital (DRM) with no AM signal. Why don't they just go FM? Who is going to want to buy a new radio just to hear those stations. I would like to see the FCC turn the band over to the big blowtorch stations running 50 Kw or even more.
I miss the good old days of clear channel stations. They would be good for national emergencies, hurricane and tornado information. I can remember traveling at night, listening to the same station all night with no interference. We've got the radios; all we need are the stations to listen to.
The AM stations in question do not want to go DRM. DRM in America is dead. They want the option to go all-HD if they choose to. Few AM stations would choose to do so, but several have done all HD tests with good reception results. As for HD receivers, many newer cars have them, and there are several models available in electronics box stores and over the internet for $100 or less. I have one.

As for the clear channels, yeah, the FCC allowed them to get cluttered up in the 1980's. That genie is out of the bottle and the only thing that will undo it is when stations start to go off the air. When that happens, the MW band will sound like SW does now -- a bit empty.

As for AM stations going to FM, that's a great idea except FM is maxed in many metros. AM 'revitalization' gave AM stations preferences to put up an FM translator as an FM relay of the AM signal. However, in my medium sized metro, there isn't enough room on FM for every AM station to do that. This is why some AM stations planning on being around 35 years from now are thinking HD as a possible way to compete with FM and streaming.
 

a29zuk

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
596
Location
SE Michigan
As for the clear channels, yeah, the FCC allowed them to get cluttered up in the 1980's. That genie is out of the bottle and the only thing that will undo it is when stations start to go off the air. When that happens, the MW band will sound like SW does now -- a bit empty.
It's too bad they didn't open up the 1610-1710 band up about ten years earlier. They could have filled them frequencies up with new stations instead of cluttering up the clear channel frequencies.

Most of the stations going off the air are regional and local stations. It's going to be a long time before the clear channel frequencies will open back up.

Jim
 
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