suspends nighttime digital AM transmissions
Broadcasting, the third largest radio group in the
United States, has decided to suspend digital nighttime
broadcasts on the AM band because of interference
problems. Interviewed by DXing.info, Citadel Director
of Engineering Martin Stabbert says that digital
IBOC broadcasting will continue on Citadel's FM
stations, as well on the AM stations during daytime,
but nighttime AM broadcasts are suspended. Citadel
stations were informed about the decision on Monday,
October 1. Of a total of 66 AM stations owned by
Citadel, roughly 20 had been broadcasting digitally
overnights after it was allowed by the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) on September 14.
"We have received a number
of comments, calls and emails involving several
different stations," Stabbert says of the feedback
concerning nighttime interference. He was however
not surprised to learn about IBOC causing so much
adjacent-channel interference. "I personally
expected something, but didn't know to what extent
it would be."
Stabbert says that the suspension
should not be interpreted as criticism towards iBiquity,
the developer of IBOC. "We are just taking
a step back. We need to evaluate our results and
act on that," Stabbert says. Stabbert prefers
not to comment on the future of IBOC on AM, but
says that in his opinion, AM broadcasting would
survive even without the introduction of "HD
radio", as digital broadcasting has been branded
in the United States. "I think AM is viable
as it is," Stabbert says to DXing.info.
Although several other AM stations
in the U.S. have attempted to measure IBOC interference
over the past couple of weeks by turning digital
broadcasts repeatedly on and off, Citadel is the
first major player to suspend IBOC for the moment.
On various discussion forums DXers have welcomed
Citadel's decision, expressing hopes that also other
broadcasters will eventually find nighttime IBOC
to be too destructive on the AM band. During the
daytime interference is not an issue because of
differences in signal propagation. DXers across
the U.S. have been worried about the increased level
of interference on the AM band since the introduction
of nighttime digital broadcasting. The interference
level is expected
to keep on rising further, effectively depriving
many stations of a long-distance audience, if IBOC
expansion on the AM band continues as originally
Information about Citadel's
decision first appeared today on radio-info.com,
based on a leaked internal memo.
October 2, 2007)
Las Vegas and WZFN Dilworth MN testing on 1100 AM
KWWN is a new mediumwave
station in Nevada, in the United States, testing
since September 21 on the frequency of 1100 kHz
AM. The station is owned by Lotus Broadcasting.
The first tests have involved running an unmodulated
carrier, to be followed by program tests any day
now. The format of KWWN will be Hispanic sports,
airing the Spanish ESPN network. Reception reports
can be sent to Lotus Broadcasting, Chief Engineer
Bill Croghan, 8755 West Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas,
NV 89147, USA.
Another new station on the same
frequency is WZFN in Dilworth Minnesota. WFZN is
licensed to broadcast at a power of 50 kW (daytime),
5 kW (critical hours) and 0.44 kW (nighttime) in
the Fargo-Moorhead market. WZFN was first reported
heard with country music programming on October
3 by DXer Shawn Axelrod in Manitoba, Canada. WZFN
is owned by Alabama-based Brantley Broadcast Associates.
October 2, 2007, updated on October 3)
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