WASHINGTON, D.C.—An FCC proposal to allow Class A FM radio stations to boost their power levels is getting mixed reactions in radio industry circles.
The proposal would allow these small stations, which often operate in rural areas, to upgrade their power levels from 6,000 to 12,000 Watts. But many industry observers, including Womble Carlyle attorney John Garziglia, say the move could harm stations on the already crowded FM band.
“While another new intermediate FM class might have been a good idea a decade ago, such a change now in the FM rules has the potential to displace many FM translators currently carrying AM signals and HD2 signals,” Garziglia tells "Radio World."
Garziglia also said a previous Class A upgrade from 3,000 to 6,000 Watts did not have the desired benefits for those stations.
“Was the slight increase in coverage nice for FM stations? Yes. But did the power increase make a substantial difference in either listenership or fortunes of Class A stations? Rarely,” he said.
John Garziglia represents radio and television broadcasters, offering personalized assistance in all areas of communications and telecommunications law including transactional and contract negotiations for broadcast station mergers and acquisitions, the securing of financing, governmental auctions of new frequencies, license renewals, new stations applications, facility changes, facility upgrades, licensing, and compliance with FCC rules, regulations and policies.
Follow John Garziglia on Twitter at @JohnGarziglia.