Tag Archives: AM Broadcasting

Radio New Zealand plans to exit AM radio

(Source: Stuff.co.nz via Trevor R)

[…]In the longer term, the report raised RNZ’s wish to divest from broadcasting infrastructure.

“RNZ currently owns a significant property portfolio and other related equipment required to support its AM radio services,” it said. “While the AM audience is declining, the cost of maintenance and upkeep of the property, buildings and AM equipment is increasing.”

The report went on to say RNZ was sitting on potentially lucrative land, that could be used for housing.

“RNZ considers it is now time to work with stakeholders to develop plans to, either partially or completely, exit AM broadcasting over time,” the report said.

Thompson said RNZ’s plan to sell of its transition sites would likely take more than a decade. It had just invested in a new AM tower in Titahi Bay, Wellington, that he said cost “millions”.

Through its network of transmission towers, RNZ was also responsible for broadcasting other radio stations including Newstalk ZB and iwi radio stations.

“We think we’re an audience and content organisation, not an infrastructure organisation,” Thompson said.

If RNZ was to sell or close its AM towers, he said the Government would need to make the call. The other broadcasters would also need to be consulted.

Read the full article at Stuff.co.nz by clicking here.

FCC lifts local control rule for radio stations

(Source: The Washington Post)

Federal regulators have voted to eliminate a longstanding rule covering radio and television stations, in a move that could ultimately reshape the nation’s media landscape.

The regulation, which was first adopted almost 80 years ago, requires broadcasters to have a physical studio in or near the areas where they have a license to transmit TV or radio signals. Known as the “main studio rule,” the regulation ensured that residents of a community could have a say in their local broadcast station’s operations.

Tuesday’s vote by the Federal Communications Commission lifts that requirement. With the rise of social media, the agency said, consumers now have other ways to get in touch with their local broadcasters.

“Additionally, technology allows broadcast stations to produce local news even without a nearby studio,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.

But that same technological capability could prompt large media titans to take over small, local TV and radio stations, turning them into megaphones blasting content developed for a national audience rather than a local one, according to critics.[…]

Click here to read the full article at The Washington Post.

RadioWorld: Steps to Lower Noise Floor and Revitalize AM Radio

(Source: RadioWorld via Richard Langley)

Noise interference is the menace of all wireless broadcast communications services

Background noise interference is degrading the quality of broadcast reception, two-way communications, mobile cellphone services and every other form of wireless communications used today at an alarming rate.

The FCC and the ITU agree that the DC to 60 GHz+ wide-spectrum background noise floor is increasing as more and more unregulated electronic devices are used by more consumers in more ways every day.

While it is true that large numbers of these devices have been in use for some time, the question becomes: What can we do to lower the noise floor now that the floodgates of unregulated devices have been open for so long? Is this an impossible task? I believe the answer is an emphatic “no.”[…]

Continue reading the full article at RadioWorld online.

iHeartMedia may collapse under debt

iHeartMedia(Source: MediaFire)

At first glance, iHeartMedia looks like the model 21st century media conglomerate, truly a colossus with interests across media: owner of 858 radio stations; Clear Channel Outdoor, one of the world’s largest outdoor companies; Premier Networks, the top U.S. radio network; and iHeartRadio, among the nation’s top digital music services.

The radio giant has a dynamic leader, Bob Pittman, the man who created MTV and widely regarded as one of the most charismatic men in media.

And it has glam, lots of glam. Look no further than the iHeartRadio Music Festival and other live events that draw thousands upon thousands of celebrants and endless media excitement.

But for all that glam, iHeart is a deeply troubled company. In fact, iHeartMedia is teetering on collapse. It’s not a question of whether it collapses but when, and it’s likely to come sooner rather than later. It could be within months.

What’s going to sink iHeart is its huge debt, some $21 billion. That’s more than the entire radio industry generates in ad dollars in a given year, and it’s a debt iHeart appears to have zero prospects of paying off.[…]

iHeart’s ills could not come at a worse time for radio.

Cumulus, the No. 2 radio company, is struggling to work through its own debt problems and could itself slide into bankruptcy. And CBS Radio was just put on the block in what’s seen as a major vote of no confidence in radio’s future by CBS Chairman Les Moonves.

One could well imagine a scenario in which all three companies are broken up and their stations all put on the market at one time, in what would prove a major disruption for the industry.[…]

Continue reading…

Paul Litwinovich on “The Life, Decline and Possible Rebirth of AM”

Zenith-Shuttle-DialMany thanks to the SWLing Post reader who noted this latest post by Paul Litwinovich at WSHU (Paul is frequently referenced here on the Post).

A short excerpt:

“AM occurs elsewhere in nature. A lightning strike or manmade electrical discharge will produce a burst of electrical noise that varies in amplitude. Since AM radios are designed to detect variations in amplitude, this is why they are prone to interference from such things. AM held sway as the primary method of modulating a radio wave up to WWII, not only for broadcasting, but for all types of radio communications.

Every vintage consumer radio, be it standard broadcast or shortwave, up to WWII, received amplitude modulated signals. Nowadays, AM broadcast stations are associated with lower quality audio, but such was not always the case. Receiver design really came of age in the 1930s with the superheterodyne circuit and advancements in loudspeaker design. The grand floor consoles of the late 1930s leading up to WWII were capable of producing audio that was very good, even by today’s standards, the only exception being that they were monaural, as stereo technology was still a ways off.”[…]

Litwinovich’s article is a must-read as he gives a concise overview of amplitude modulation, AM vs. FM, and even covers current proposed uses of the broadcast band (something we’ve also recently mentioned).

Click here to read The Life, Decline and Possible Rebirth of AM.