WASHINGTON, DC—With the FCC’s Notice for Proposed Rulemaking, which was intended to revitalize AM radio, now seven years old, Radio World took an in-depth look at how well those efforts have worked. Womble Bond Dickinson Telecom attorney John Garziglia, who has closely observed the FCC’s revitalization efforts and advocated for AM stations, was one of the industry insiders interviewed for the special report.
Garziglia and others interviewed agree that digital technology is key to AM radio’s future. However, they say efforts to support digital broadcasts have been spotty.
For example, Garziglia tells Radio World that radio receiver manufacturers have not been inclined to make radio receivers capable of receiving multicast signals.
“The question is whether receiver manufacturers have to manufacture such receivers first for the FCC to move its regulatory roadblock to the carriage of multiple AM sub-channels on FM translators, like is now allowed for FM HD and FM translators — or more to the point, if the FCC does not encourage AM all-digital with multiplex sub-channels and carriage on FM translators,” he said.
The special report also notes that Garziglia’s client Urban One received permission to experiment with an all-digital AM station in Indianapolis. However, the FCC refused Urban One’s request to rebroadcast digital multicasts of the AM test station over analog FM translators, putting the entire test in doubt.
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.