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Airwaves: November 4, 2005

Low Power AM on the horizon?

In spite of the slow launch of low-power FM stations -- the slow speed due primarily to commercial broadcasting complaints -- the FCC is considering the creation of a low-power AM service, and is accepting public comments on the proposal through November 21st.

According to industry newspaper Radio and Records, the proposal was created and submitted to the FCC by a group in Michigan which hopes to complement current low power FM stations. Unlike their noncommercial FM counterparts, however, low power AM stations would be run as a commercial service.

Left out of the equation is what would happen to such a service if digital "HD Radio" transmissions on the AM band becomes the future broadcasting standard. Already many normal-powered stations are experiencing interference from the HD service; low-powered stations would certainly be clobbered.

Speaking of HD

One of the side benefits of digital HD Radio on the FM band is the ability to broadcast more than one station on the same frequency at the same time. A recent story in Radio World highlighted a major problem for stations that choose to "multicast:" what to name their extra stations, and how to get potential listeners to tune in.

The possibilities are interesting. For example, would there be a KIIS-FM 2? Or perhaps a KIIS-HD-2. Sounds complicated to me. Or should the programming be something completely different with an entirely new naming scheme?

Also in the discussion stage: how to tune the extra stations. Expect resolution on both topics no earlier than the 2009 radio model year.

Born to Rock

Rock writer and Bruce Springsteen biographer Dave Marsh will be the featured guest on internet radio station tomorrow morning at 11:00. Marsh joins host Mike Stark as Rock 50 salutes the 30th anniversary of the release of Springsteen's album Born to Run.

The show will feature two hours of music and conversation, including recorded live performance versions of all the tracks from the album.

The program will be repeated three times a day for the next week on the wpmd alternative stream.

Let's Get Stoned

In anticipation of the first of three sold-out Southern California Rolling Stones concerts, KLOS will play nothing but Stones music today from the time Mark and Brian sign off until 12 midnight.

Afternoon personality Joe Benson will broadcast his program live from Angels Stadium in Anaheim from 2 to 6 PM. I'm not sure why: the concert doesn't begin until 8:00.

Losing another

Longtime KLOS overnight personality Al Ramirez passed away on October 23rd at the age of 54. According to reports, Ramirez died of natural causes.

Ramirez came to KLOS in 1979 and worked in various slots before taking on the overnight shift. Those who worked with him say he had a passion for music and family.

A tribute page has been set up on the KLOS web site,


Copyright © 2005 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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