The effort to revitalize the AM band continues. Last Thursday, the FCC’s first filing window for Class C and D stations to apply for FM translators closed. On Friday, a second filing window opened for Class A and B stations (as well as Class C and D stations that didn’t file in the first window). The second window will remain open until October 31.
An AM stations may acquire an FM translator that is within a 250-mile radius of the AM station. If approved by the FCC, the translators may be used to rebroadcast an AM signal within the station’s primary contour.
Stations may file only one application to move or modify an FM translator. If a station filed an application during the first window but was rejected, they may not file again.
To avoid interference or for other reasons, an applicant may change the FM frequency after approval is given, but the translator must be used to carry the AM signal for a minimum of four years.
Given the one application rule, stations must not only comply with all FCC technical rules, but must also be careful to make sure their acquisition agreement for the targeted FM translator is airtight. If a deal to buy an FM translator were to fall through after the application is filed, the AM station would be out of luck.
During the first filing window, more than 700 applications were filed. Of those, 630 have already been approved, according to a report in Radio World. The second window is also expected to be a busy one.
The FCC’s original Public Notice regarding the two filing windows can be read here.
They have a handy tool, which can be found here that will identify all FM translators within an AM station’s 250 mile radius.
Another handy tool, which can be found here, helps stations find available FM channels.