Pai: AM Window ‘Critical’


Ajit PaiFCC Commissioner Ajit Pai responded to Chairman’s Wheeler’s doubts about opening a special application window for AM owners to apply for an FM translator.

The chairman is fine with modifying the FCC’s technical rules to make things easier for AM operators, but he believes the window is too much.

“An AM-only translator window is not a give-away,” Pai told reporters after the FCC meeting. “It’s a chance to give AM broadcasters what they do best — reach listeners.”

Pai’s been traveling the country speaking with broadcasters. Owners from states like Montana, Colorado and the Dakotas tell him the window “could be a lifeline bridge to help AM thrive.”

An AM owner in Manhattan told Pai that once he got an FM translator, his listenership went way up, citing the ability to reach people in drivetime. Pai cited support for the window from the Congressional Black Caucus as well.

He believes it’s “critical if we’re going to revitalize AM” to include the window, which he hopes will get done “in short order.”

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