NAB supports FM translators for AM stations


The National Association of Broadcasters reminded the FCC that AM broadcasters are often among the most locally-oriented stations of a locally-oriented medium, but that many are technologically-challenged by their very licensing parameters and the physical characteristics of their slice of the spectrum. It therefore filed in support of allowing AM operators to fill in coverage holes and to cover twilight and nighttime hours with FM translators, allowing better service to their communities in general and particularly in times of emergency.

NAB noted that such a move would serve the goal of broadcast diversity. 2.45K owners control 4.8K stations, an average of about only two per customer, with many of them being standalone operations. Additionally, 154 owners are members of a minority group and 161 are female, accounting for 438 AM stations. With this in mind, the proposal has the support of minority organization such as MMTC, NABOB and others. NAB also supports the idea of allowing AM stations to rebroadcast over LPFMs under certain conditions, a proposal which LPFM organization Prometheus Radio Project opposes but which NAB says many actual LPFM operators support.
Allowing AM daytimers to use translators to originate night broadcasts would be a boon to 1125 stations, said NAB, and added its endorsement to the tentative FCC conclusion to allow the practice.