NPR has added its voice to the Federal Communication Commission’s proceeding on revitalizing AM radio. Although the filing supports the FCC’s general recommendations for improving the service, it also functions as a vehicle for promoting one of NPR’s favorite causes: getting the Commission to license more translators for Non-commercial Educational (NCE) FM radio stations.
Still, I did not know the following: “Almost 80 AM public radio stations are affiliated with NPR or receive operational funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,” NPR writes. “These stations serve communities as urban as New York City in the case of WNYC-AM, as well as remote areas of Alaska, and are among the oldest continuously operating stations in the country.”
That would be nearly eighty out of the 975 public stations across the country for which NPR produces and distributes content—in other words, roughly eight percent of public stations broadcast on the AM band.
Further reading: New England Public Radio’s comments to the FCC on AM revitalization.