The future of AM radio

Fri Feb 1 23:21:03 EST 2008

When WHDH moved to Needham and increased from 5 kW DA-N to 50 kW DA-2
the following stations more-or less between Boston and Denver were
either already on 850 or held CPs for 850: WJW, WKBZ, WEEU, WNAO and
WXKW. The death of WXKW made CKVL possible. Ex-WJW is still there and
now with a killer 50 kW daytime signal, WEEU moved to 830 with much
more power, Johnstown PA with its nine-tower array and 10 kW-U came
along a quarter century or so ago, Norfolk VA (which took the heritage
WTAR calls from 790 a few years back) is now also there with 50 kW D
and 25 kW N (six towers at night).

As one of only three Class IB channels with no fulltime Class I
station east of the Mississipi (the main other one was 680), 850 was a
very popular home for multiple high-power fulltime AMs in the
Northeast and mid-Atlantic states. (1070 didn't exactly count because
of the need to protect CBA in addition to KNX. On 1070, the closest
full-timer to CBA is in north-central PA, but the frequency is
chock-a-block full with ex-Class IIs in the midwest all the way to KS
as well as VA, NC, and places further south.

Probably because the daytime signals had somewhat more reach on the
lower 680 frequency, there weren't quite as many 680s as 850s in the
same geographic area, but it is interesting to note that Boston and
Raleigh both have stations on both frequencies.

Dan Strassberg (
eFax 1-707-215-6367

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Garrett Wollman" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Friday, February 01, 2008 9:33 PM
Subject: The future of AM radio

> <<On Fri, 1 Feb 2008 18:58:52 -0500, said:
>> What exactly does the CRTC plan to do with the unused spectrum?
> The evidence is that they are perfectly prepared to license new,
> technically feasible AM stations (as witness 740 Toronto, 1040
> Montreal, 1580 in two different cities, 1610 Montreal, and others)
> provided the owners meet their usual requirements of not taking
> advertising revenue away from existing stations and playing at least
> 35% Canadian content.
>> On a related matter would the CRTC be open to allowing non-Canadian
>> signals to readust protection patterns for stations that no longer
>> exist.
> Only if they get something in return.
>> Prime example would be WEEI who no longer should worry about the
>> former CKVL.
> WEEI doesn't protect ex-CKVL except by the historical accident that
> WEEI's deep null towards KOA made it possible to drop in half a
> dozen
> 850s between Boston and Denver.
>> 2. Could we ever see the FCC do the same thing in the US outside
>> major markets?
> U.S. radio is not regulated on the basis of protecting stations from
> in-market competition as it is in Canada, so no.  If an AM station
> goes off the air, and the facility is still technically feasible,
> someone else can apply for it at the next window.
>> I have never understood why the CBC and CRTC wanted the national
>> service off AM.
> The CRTC doesn't care, near as I can tell.  The CBC (not to mention
> commercial broadcasters) wants to be on the band that people
> actually
> listen to, and that's FM.  How would you like to have the only AM
> signal in your market, when the other dozen stations are on FM?
> -GAWollman

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