AM Radio, To Be Phased Out in 2012?

Is AM Radio Dying?

I recently asked myself this question? Where is AM Radio heading?

Half a century ago, aside from vinyl records, people listen to music through AM Radio. I can’t imagine
the quality, but FM changed everything.

It was way better to listen to songs on FM, because of the improved quality. Suddenly AM Radio became synonymous to NewsTalk radio.

Today, listener preferences have evolved, thus radio should too. We now have HD Radio which offers clearer and crispier sound than traditional FM.

Should AM Radio remain as that low quality, “static-noised” medium?

In the US, we now hear a number of AM stations simulcasting and even broadcasting independently on the FM Band.

The reason is obvious. Not only do listeners want improved audio, people now have less if no access to AM Radio receivers.

Most smart phones nowadays are equipped only with FM radio receivers. And with internet broadband advancements, one would prefer tuning in to online Talk stations.

In all fairness to AM, the NEWSTALK medium has tried to go with the times.

DZMM, for instance, has integrated video and web streaming into their daily broadcast with their TeleRadyo programming, allowing listeners to tune in to them on cable and the internet.

Although there is no data to back this up, but it’s apparent that the AM radio audience is getting younger. And this generation of listeners prefers smart phones and gadgets to access audio content.
Where will AM radio place itself?

Radyo Singko 92.3 NewsFM of TV5 preferred to go the unconventional way. From what I see, NewsFM is not competing with existing AM stations, but it’s with fellow FM dial points.

In today’s congested Metro Manila airwaves, Radyo Singko is proved to be a good alternative for radio listeners who want to get all news and information content but prefer to use cell phones.

Should all AM stations start simulcasting on FM?

This might be a problem especially in major markets where FM is crowded.

HD or digital radio and the wider availability of internet access are the foreseen destinations.

In the meantime, this isn’t really much of a problem. NewsTalk radio stations here are not yet plagued with significant dip of AM radio listenership.

And besides, we constantly hear talk-based programming even on music stations today.

We just really wish that these FM stations focus more on relevant, sensible and quality talk-based content and not just throw jokes that are not funny, and talk programs that do not empower people.


6 thoughts on “AM Radio, To Be Phased Out in 2012?”

  1. AM radio is to be phased out? By whom? Where? Which country? Is God doing this? The writer of this article knows nothing about the industry or what is really happening in the media. Misinformation, the entire article. Ignorance. Do people believe everything they read on the internet? OK, my supposition: Internet articles written by young ignorant people are being fazed out as we speak right now. Misinformed idiots are being silenced all over the world by the sofa police that have internet devices implanted in their skulls. Smell you later.


  2. “sensible and quality talk-based content and not just throw jokes that are not funny, and talk programs that do not empower people”

    Wow, what a statement! And who exactly makes you the arbitrator of good taste?

    The licenses for radio stations are held in trust to the public at large in the area for which the station broadcasts. In short if the public lets it, good taste or no, yours or not is what will be broadcast. The public has simply been too busy historical to notice much about the licensing of radio or participate in it.

    Not as certain of the regulations in the USA, but in Canada this is definately so. I know there is a basis for the same in the states and much of the stuff that was caused by Howard Stern and the many free speech clones who challenge regulations, laugh at the regulations, and pay the fines out of the millions they make, has not only bent the rules, but bent the medium in general.

    The scenarios are roughly the same between US and Canada. Only so many corporations have broadcast properties of any description and where the money is, they go. They admonish the Howard Sterns publicly, run disclaimers, lawyer up and sometimes let them go. Why? They don’t see the money in it. They could care less about how tempermental the talent is to handle. Get someone cheaper, who can keep most of the ratings is usually the move.

    What I would like to hear on AM radio is heavy metal yodelling music for eating yogurt. My taste differs from the normal, sane bunch of people broadcasters call an audience. If I were to have a few million I am sure I would have a few radio stations that did exactly that. All in tinny AM where this kind of music sounds best. But wait, regardless of my money there is always this stinking compromise. If I can prove the area at large, desires this kind of beautiful tinny sound designed to embellish their life with love vibes all around. Think the love guru channel.

    The public don’t know whats good for them, and also do not know what is being said is good for them and proven via some random survey to the FCC or CRTC.

    In short, one persons opinon may actually count, if it happens to agree with those trying to put together there version of a radio station. What happens is you get many opinions from a survey and my opinion that goats should be heard in the back ground of all songs, and yours “sensible and quality talk-based content and not just throw jokes that are not funny, and talk programs that do not empower people,” gets an acid wash. It becomes less than a blue jean and proportedly increases the value of it.

    I know what your saying. There should be just blue jeans, but it don’t go that way. Even at the jeans store there is a bit of “Paris says its ‘in'” regardless of how heartland the store maybe.

    Richard Dawson sums me up nicely “the survey says!” I too wish it were different. Reality says not. AM will go when no one wants to support it any longer as a viable business. Access to AM radios or other things have nothing to do with it. Again, I wish it did.


  3. I think AM stations will still be around for a long time. There are AM radio still has a lot of followers specially here in the province. Those communities at the remote areas– places that FM signal can’t reach– of our country rely on AM radio as their source of information and entertainment. These are also the barangays here in the Philippines that have no electricity yet, no internet, no tv, no newspapers, and the only medium they have to keep in touch with the world is their battery-operated transistor.


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