Why are there still AM music stations?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I know people still listen to the news and talk shows on AM - at least my father does - but how the hell do AM music stations survive??? Does ANYONE, would ANYONE actually listen to music on AM? Has AM radio become a hobby and people broadcast but nobody listens? Do companies still buy advertising on AM radio, if so, why? Wussup with the AM?
  2. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Yes. In my hometown of Corry, the local "oldies" station is pretty popular. And they get lots of advertising. If a local store has background radio, it's the local AM station.

    Here's the worst thing about it: They broadcast Nascar races. HEY why watch a shiny car go in a circle when you can have someone tell you about a shiny car going in a circle.
  3. There's a station here that plays Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett kind of stuff. I listen to it every once in a while.
  4. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    WICH is the local AM station that's been around forever- it's a town staple. The crew does a performance of A Christmas Carol on air every year, and all the locals call in to announce their newborn's names on during Babie's First Christmas. They have contests to win prizes from local businesses. A lot of people like that they can feel like they know the DJs personally, and many of them do because they live in the same area. AM stations are able to stay afloat in smaller communities because they do all the advertising for local businesses. I imagine an oldies-playing AM station has less costs than a modern rock FM station.
  5. UnsungZeros

    UnsungZeros The only winning move is not to play.

    AM plays host to a lot of the Spanish language music/talk stations around here.
  6. daofktr

    daofktr irritating, yet surly

    Feb 15, 2005
    aurora, IN
    AM is pretty popular here, but it is the midwest, after all!
    seriously, though; i think AM stations serve the local community better than FM.
    that ain't a bad thing.

    AM=mom'n'pop stores

    (having said that, don't think for a redhot minnit that i wouldn't wet myself to be on every FM station in the world!)
  7. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    I have wondered the same thing. When I was a little kid in the 70's I remember AM Radio being very popular. By the mid-80's nobody I knew in the Los Angeles area listened to music on Am radio. It became a news and talk radio medium.

    A couple of years ago my youngest daughter started listening to Radio Disney which broadcasts on AM. That was the only music broadcast that I knew of on AM. I do hear some Spanish language music and what I think is a Korean music brodcast but thats it for music on AM in the L.A. area.

    What ever happened to AM Stereo?
  8. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    There's one like that and a more contemporary one in the Detroit area. Both broadcast out of Canada and play many songs and few commercials.

    Sometimes, I just want to hear anything but: "we'll be back with more WRIF-Rock after these 18 commercials".

    I don't care if who's broadcasting from what sports-store or bar, or concert. Sometimes you just want music, which the Canadian stations provide.

    I'll suffer the Farm Report.
  9. Flanders


    Oct 30, 2002
    Reno, NV
    I has longer broadcast range. I live in Nevada where there is LOTS of empty space. Gotta get those people their commercials somehow!
  10. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
    Being in Omaha, FM is great, but if you travel towards the middle of the state, it seems that AM is all you can get. It's farm country, baby.

    Probably something that most 'city folk' aren't familiar with.
  11. Dr. Laura !!!!!!!!!! And Kim Komando, and all of those stupid political talk shows. And this one that talks about aliens and weird stuff.
  12. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    d00d, ya can't get a FM license anymore, Clearchannel
    owns them all in the US. If you get one through oversight, they'll be sure it gets pulled. Clearchannel owns 4 major staions in my market, Oldies, Rock, Mix and Techno-pop-maddona-hop.

    And FM is line of sight propagation. AM gets a good bounce,
    especially at night off the ionosphere.

    When I was a kid growing up outside of NYC, I always
    listened to CKLW, Windsor CA, as they had the most powerful station in North America.
  13. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    I was going there...

    The AM frequency band is from 520 to 1710kHz in. 10kHz steps, and the FM frequency band is from 87.9 to. 107.9MHz in 200kHz steps.

    Recalling tweeter vs. woofer logic 101, you may recall that while it takes far more horsepower to make a lower frequency, a lower frequency is far more omnidirectional than higher frequencies.
  14. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
  15. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    most of our AM is talk, but we have radio disney and a few mexican stations...

    is it just me, or does AM quality suck?
  16. Holy tarantulas in cream sauce - so did I !!! :eek:

    Seriously, Thor, I remember listening to that station when I was a wee one also.

    Small world. :cool:

  17. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Beat the heck out of Cousin Brucie...

    Yeah, it does...

    And the signal quality is not so good sometimes
    either ... :smug:
  18. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    I'm part of the student run AM/Internet station at my school (http://www.krfh.net). I really wish we could get a signal farther than maybe half-way across campus. Apparently, we're not allowed to push a stupid button (turning on a power amp?) that would give us coverage of at least the town we're in. Though the student run FM station gets decent coverage, though I don't think they're online.

    Could anyone maybe clue me in as to what the possible reason would be for us not to be able to broadcast any real distance?
  19. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    The FCC has all kinds of umm...interesting rules and regulations. They have to approve the broadcast range of every laser product sold or manufactured in the US in addition to RF frequency producers such as radios, walkie-talkies, you name it. Even bits inside my computer have the FCC Compliance sticker on them. As near as I can tell, there's no particular rhyme nor reason for the requirements on range except demographics, and whether or not there's enough of your target audience (read:advertising money) in a given area.

    And Clear Channel owns less than 5% of the AM/FM/TV stations in the US. They're just the only large company that advertises. Check Viacom, Time/Warner, and Disney/ABC out and see what a REALLY huge conglomerate looks like.
  20. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    And....due to the "bounce" you get with AM...

    They are much better suited to mountain areas. When I lived in Pennsylvainia...FM Stations were just about worthless. Especially driving around.

    Nothing stops and FM signal like the side of a mountian.