Window Brings Surge of Translator Deals

On Friday, the FCC opened a six-month filing window for AM broadcasters to acquire existing FM translators, and move them up to 250 miles into their local coverage areas. This is part of the agency’s AM revitalization initiative — though it’s still not exactly clear how FM spectrum fixes AM’s fundamental difficulties.

This window is exclusive to lower-power AM broadcasters; the large “flamethrower” stations will get a crack at the translator shuffle later this summer, and then the FCC plans to open an application window for new translator stations next year. The marketplace for translators, which has been simmering mightily underground for nearly a decade, has fully burst into the mainstream with the FCC’s blessing. Read More

FCC FM Auction Announced

The FCC is soliciting comment on rules to govern an upcoming auction of 124 full-power FM station construction permits around the country. These channels are on the commercial portion of the FM dial; the action is set to commence on March 7.

It will be interesting to see if our translator-mongering friends will make a killing in this buying spree. Remember that it is part of their business plan to convert FM translator construction permits into cash, and use the cash to buy full-power FM stations (or station construction permits) from which to feed RAM/EB/WRL’s own network. This auction may very well usher in phase two of the ongoing invasion of godcasters onto the FM dial.