HURRICANES HARVEY, IRMA, JOSE AND MARIA - Information for stations inside disaster areas. [Learn More]
GRASSROOTS RADIO CONFERENCE Albany, NY NEW DATES!! OCTOBER 6~9.. [more info here!!]

FM translators for AM stations

UPDATED SEPTEMBER 20, 2017

The first filing window for cross-service FM translators went from July 26 through August 2, 2017.  This window was limited to Class C and Class D AM broadcast stations  that was not listed as the primary station on a "250 mile" application in the 9-month period in 2016 when such major moves were allowed.  The window was limited to the actual AM licensees only and that translators granted would be permanently tied to the AM station and can't be split off. 

There will eventually be a second filing window for new cross-service FM translators.  This window will be limted to any class of AM broadcast station that not listed as a primary station on a "250 mile" application in 2016 nor is a Class C or D AM station that filed for a new translator in the July26~August 2, 2017 filing window.  The window will be limited to the actual AM licensees only and translators granted would be permanently tied to the AM station and can't be split off.  This will be the opportunity for Class B and Class A AM stations to apply for new translators.  

Therefore, the second window is for those Class C and D stations that missed the first window and is the opportunity for Class B (and A) stations to get a new translator.

The FCC has not yet announced a date for the second window but based on recent statements made by outgoing Audio Division bureau chief Peter Doyle, the window is not expected until sometime in 2018.

REC is prepared to retain clients for this window and start the preliminary work in preparation for this important window.  If you are ready to go or want more information, please contact REC at 1-844-732-5736 or e-mail us at translators@recnet.com

Information for AM Stations Information for LPFM Stations

Additional information and FAQ for AM stations planning to participate in this window.

(Revised 8/2/2017)

FAQ addressing concerns and questions that LPFM stations may have about the window.

Note: There will be a filing freeze on all LPFM, translator and booster minor change applications from July 19 through August 2, 2017.

In late February 2017, the FCC had approved a Report and Order that would extend the fill-in area in which the (60 dBu) service contour of a FM translator can be placed to serve for the rebroadcasting of an AM station.  Under the old rules, the translator service contour was required to remain within the 2 mV/m daytime contour of the AM station and in no case shall extend more than 25 miles from the AM station.  Under the newly approved rules, the service contour of the FM station may now extend to any place that is within the 2 mV/m contour of the AM station or 25 miles out in a particular direction, whichever is more.

This is fantastic news for Class C AM stations which have very limited 2 mV/m contours.  Even if the station's 2 mV/m contour only extends about 12 miles out, you will be able to locate a translator at any point as long as the edge of the service contour remains within 25 miles of the AM station.  For some stations, this means being able to place a translator at the maximum power possible and likely not have to worry about using expensive directional antennas in order to keep the signal within the 2 mV/m.With this rule approval, nothing has changed with the nature of translators.  FM translators are still limited to 250 watts ERP and are still subject to interference scrutiny from existing stations (full power, translator and LPFM). 

"Second chance" for 2016 applicants

Translators that filed for "250 mile moves" during the 2016 window will now have an oppotunity to move again.  In order to take advantage of this, the translator had to file a move in the 2016 window, specify the same AM station as the primary station and stay within 250 miles of the original (pre-2016) translator location.  Non-adjacent channel changes are permitted.  Please contact REC for assistance.

REC is equipped to assist most AM licensees wishing to obtain a new translator in the next filing window

For assistance, please contact REC at 1-844-732-5736.  REC is accepting retainers from AM stations to work with them through the application process.  

Please note that this potential 2017 new translator opportunity is only for FM translators that will be used to rebroadcast AM stations and can not be used for LPFM or full-power FM stations. Translators must be applied for by the AM licensee.  If you need to move a translator for an FM or LPFM station, REC can assist you but the normal FCC move guidelines would apply. 

CALL REC at 1-844-732-5736

Additional resources:

Find competing AM stations in your market with FM translators

REC's FCCdata.org - to look up the 2 mV/m contour of an AM station

FCC AM Revitalization Home Page