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Legal AM running without license in GA

"Radio Sandy Springs" 1620 AM in suburban Atlanta (Sandy Springs, GA) is running without a license, yet it is not a pirate station. It's a network of low-power AM transmitters fed simultaneously that covers the entire town and beyond. The station's programming is professionally done and centered around community affairs. It even airs the Sandy Springs City Council meeting, brought to you by a local Mercedes-Benz dealership. It airs plenty of local spots from local businesses. It also streams at

RBR spoke with owner/GM David Moxley, first assuming he was a pirate operator: "I'm not a pirate station. We're an LP AM station and don't have to be licensed, according to Part 15 of the FCC regs. which allows for AMs to broadcast at one-tenth of a watt. They don't offer a license for this. Each transmitter is its own station of sorts. One transmitter covers between seven tenths and one mile radius. We can, within reason, hold our signal into one spot. Our transmitters are FCC-certified, but at the same token, it says nothing in the rules about where each transmitter gets a signal from, just as long as I stay below a tenth of a watt. Nowhere in the code does it state where each transmitter should get their audio. My transmitter, my antenna and my ground lead, if used, is not any more than 3 meters. My attorney and I have read the regs up one side and down the other and I'm not breaking any law. We pay BMI, we pay ASCAP. Right now in my office I've got the GM of one of the largest stations in Georgia-from Star 94. He's did an interview today with us on one of our shows."

The program schedule

Sandy Springs Breakfast Club (7-9AM Mon-Fri)

The Sandy Springs Breakfast Club gets the day started with coffee, chat local event bulletins and music. Topics of interest to Sandy Springs residents along with interesting guests fill the 2 hour time.

Sandy Springs Health Hour (9-10AM Mon- Fri)

Featuring Women's Health, The Chiropractic Hour, General Topics, Specialists, Pharmacist and Dermatology.

Sandy Springs Business Hour (10-11AM Mon-Fri)

The Sandy Springs Business Association brings you the Sandy Springs business hour each and every day from 10-11 AM featuring the businesses of Sandy Springs.

Tastebuds (11AM-12PM Mon-Fri)

Explore the tastes of Sandy Springs as we discuss local restaurants and dining spots!

A Day with Heidi (3-4PM Mon & Wed)

Heidi gives a funny take on a day in the life of a Sandy Springs resident.

Sandy Springs Today (4-5PM Weekdays)

Join host Wanda Buckley and guests as they explore the workings of the new city of Sandy Springs. We invite you call with questions, comments and concerns every week.

Dr. Fitness and the Fat Guy (8PM Mon)

Join hosts Dr. Adam Shafran and Lee Kantor as they discuss the importance of eating right, exercise, health and wellness.

The Animal Hour (2-3PM Tues)

Join host Susie Aga as she takes your calls and discusses issues concerning your pets, including training, feeding, veterinary and more.

House The Market? (3-4PM Tues)

Join host Judy Soden as she discusses the residential real estate market in Sandy Springs.

Following Passions (8-9PM Tues)

Join host Bernard Kearse as he discusses peoples' passions about work, hobbies and the things that make life worth living.

Psychiatry Today (8-9PM Wed)

Listen to Dr. Scot Bay discuss his knowledge of Psychiatry and call in with questions.

Decorating with Lee Ann (3-4PM Thurs)

Join Lee Ann Culpepper from Culpepper Carpets & Interiors to learn some great tips about decorating and design.

Check out Lee Ann's website!

Acupuncture Today (8-9PM Thurs)

Listen to Dr. Anne Kelly and her staff from Metro Acupuncture.

Sandy Springs Journal (2-3PM Fri)

The Sandy Springs Journal is an interesting, conversational walk through the city of Sandy Springs with one of its most knowledgeable citizens, Joey Mayson. Friends and neighbors will drop in to help Joey keep listeners informed and entertained.

Your Sandy Springs Neighbor (3-4PM Fri)

Join Dot Blum for interviews with Sandy Springs most fascinating individuals. Dot knows which of your neighbors write, invent, entertain and otherwise enrich our lives.

Classic Car Show (7-9AM Sat)

Hey Classic Car fans! Listen to Steve Rinaldo and Lowell Hester discuss everything about classic cars, and call in to participate in the discussion.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

(10-11AM on the 1st & 3rd Sat of the Month)

Listen to Pat Thernell discuss gardening techniques to keep your garden looking beautiful.

Randy Radio (1-4PM Sat)

Join Randy as he brings you music and fun and presents your For Sale By Owner products to the community of Sandy Springs.

Classic Big Band Show (7-9PM Sat) & (5-7PM Sun)

Tune in 7-9 PM on Saturday and 5-7 PM on Sunday evenings to the golden voice of Don Kennedy as he takes you back to a time when Big Band was king.

Patriot Hours (1-3PM Sun)

During these inspiring hours patriotic music is played as well as interviews with veterans from across the country and around the globe.

Career Call (3-4PM Sun)

Tune in to Ted Daywalt and Career Calls. Listen in as Ted interviews guests and discusses employment opportunities for veterans. A show for veterans looking for employment or a career change.

Phil Hinson Fair Tax Show (4-5PM Sun)

Tune in as Phil discusses the Fair Tax Act with guests from around the country.

Classic Radio Theater (7-9PM Sun)

Presented every Sunday by the Philco Radio Players, brings back the great years of radio theater. As always call-ins are welcomed. So join us every Sunday night from 7-9 PM. Entertainment for the whole family.

RBR observation:
Moxley, when asked, said he couldn't afford to buy a regular, licensed station and that his station does for the community what higher-power Atlanta stations can't. If this is allowed to stand, a whole new crop of AMs-equivalent to a 500-watt licensed AM coverage-may proliferate across the nation, super-serving communities.

Also, the FCC's failure to rapidly process and grant licenses leaves holes for service that needs to be provided. So people are just setting up shop to what needs to be done for their communities. It's not always about X-rated Rap lyrics and on-air cussing-this time it's established citizens interfacing with the local government and community as a real licensed station would operate.

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