Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Is it worth the effort to try to save AM broadcast radio?

First, let me admit right up front that--even though I worked in broadcasting and was a personality on the AM radio band for many years--I am on record as predicting that the current 550-through-1700 kilohertz  portion of the spectrum will be an amateur radio band in less than ten years.

Well, now comes news that a current member of the Federal Communications Commission has mounted a crusade to try to save the AM broadcast band.  You remember what AM radio is, right?  There is probably a button on your car radio that says "AM."  The one you never push unless you live in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles.

HERE IS an article in the New York Times about Commissioner Pai and his hopes for keeping AM radio viable in the face of rapidly changing technology.  And, more importantly, in the face of consumer desires and preferences.  The article does a good job of refuting the ideas the commissioner has so I won't repeat them here.

For many reasons, I hope he is successful.  My heart says it is worth the fight.

My head, however, says, "Go find some other windmill to joust."

AM radio is dead.  Kaput.  Deceased.