Re: Will we see talk shift to FM radio?

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Posted by Jeremy Andrews on May 11, 2014 at 09:32:24:

In Reply to: Will we see talk shift to FM radio? posted by Paul on May 09, 2014 at 13:26:51:

It often depends on the situation.

When I see 50kw AM signals simulcasting on FM, I consider it ridiculous for the most part.

Some FM Talk simulcasts have actually been going instead of coming:

98.5 WIBQ-FM in Terre Haute (owned by Wisconsin's own Midwest Communications) went back to AM-only and switched to AC as WBOW this past month.

In Chicago, WCPT-AM's FM sisters (92.7 WCPT-FM Arlington Heights and 99.9 WCPQ-FM Park Forest) will be switching to brokered Polish next month. Brokered programming is the owner's specialty. When they originally started simulcasting on the FM signals, it was mostly because WCPT-AM (820) was a daytimer and needed more hours. Now WCPT-AM is a 24 hour signal (It actually once was back prior to sometime in the 90s when it went daytime only) so those 2 FMs in specific are no longer needed for that reason.

A lot of FM simulcasts of AM Talk stations tend to simulcast AM signals that have crummy signals either at night or throughout the day. A few examples:

WOOD-FM (106.9) Muskegon, MI. This simulcasts heritage sister WOOD-AM (1300) Grand Rapids. The FM signal covers the Muskegon area as well as the far northwestern parts of Grand Rapids. The AM is highly directional away from the Muskegon area and has little (if any) coverage there at all. This allows that area to have coverage in that general area, not to mention 1300 tends to be a messy frequency at night. WOOD-AM points it's signal to the Northeast, away from the area WOOD-FM originates from.

Here in Wisconsin, there's WSAU-FM (99.9) in the Stevens Point area. Simulcasts its AM sister 550 WSAU in Wausau. During the day, 550 covers a huge chunk of the area fine. No problem in Stevens Point. At night though, it goes directional and poof goes WSAU in Stevens Point and half of the market. This is where that is useful. 99.9 really has mostly simulcast with a Wausau station that doesn't cover the Stevens Point area for much of it's recent life. The last station being 94.7 (now WOZZ, formerly WOFM)

In regards to sports radio, they're trying to target a younger audience by simulcasting on FM. It's not as likely to happen with AM (although possible) So they are pushing it as far as they can go.

In regards to WBBM-AM simulcasting on 105.9, the downtown area of Chicago (the loop) there's some issues with the buildings blocking the AM signal. You'll hear static on 780 driving around. I think this fills in that area specifically.

As for 106.7 in Mount Horeb, I think they just don't know what else to do with it.

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