The Latest Broadcast Station Totals: AM, FM Totals Dip

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The latest quarterly broadcast station totals have been released from the FCC.


And, when one compares the numbers to the end of the third quarter of 2021, one big takeaway is obvious.

There are more broadcast radio and TV stations licensed in the U.S. than on September 30, but still much fewer than the total seen at the end of Q2 2021.

The total number of AM stations declined again, and is now down by 37 from July 1, 2021. This includes the surrendering of licenses by Crawford Broadcasting in Portland, Ore., and Saga Communications in Norfolk in addition to December 2021 actions recently reported by RBR+TVBR.

The FM station count is also down, however, a rather disconcerting reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic has had its challenges on some operations.

Meanwhile, the incessant growth of FM translator and booster stations hasn’t ceased, again. There are 345 more of this facilities as of the end of Q3 2021 and 1,052 more when compared to the end of Q2 2018.

And, once again, there are fewer LPFMs, the latest numbers show.

For the TV industry, there are fewer low-power TV stations, the latest FCC data show. This is likely a result of channel-sharing tied to the FCC’s post-spectrum auction repack process.


BROADCAST STATION TOTALS AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2021
(Compared to Sept. 30, 2021)

TOTAL BROADCAST STATIONS:  33,467 (up 65)  

All comparisons below to the end of Q3 2021

AM STATIONS                  4509 (minus 10) 
FM COMMERCIAL             6676 (minus 6)
FM EDUCATIONAL            4204 (minus 7)
TOTAL                          15,389 (minus 23)

UHF COMMERCIAL TV      999 (plus 1)
VHF COMMERCIAL TV       374 (unchanged)
UHF EDUCATIONAL TV      266 (plus 1)
VHF EDUCATIONAL TV      119 (unchanged)
TOTAL                            1,758 (plus 2)

CLASS A UHF STATIONS   351 (minus 3)
CLASS A VHF STATIONS    31 (no change)

FM TRANSLATORS & BOOSTERS 8,886 (up 95)
(up from 7814 as of June 30, 2018)

UHF TRANSLATORS               2434 (down 31)
VHF TRANSLATORS               641 (no change)

UHF LOW POWER TV             1488 (plus 35)
VHF LOW POWER TV             440 (plus 2)

LOW POWER FM             2,069 (down 12)

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