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NAB presses FCC to adopt digital daytime AM

The National Association of Broadcasters, National Public Radio, Infinity
Broadcasting on Tuesday encouraged the Federal Communications Commission to
authorize daytime operation of digital AM radio, known as AM in-band on-channel
(IBOC) radio, in its comments to the commission.

"Moving ahead to expeditiously introduce IBOC digital service in the AM band,
albeit for the interim as a daytime service, will offer a chance to revitalize
AM broadcasting," NAB said.

The commission is seeking comments on a report filed by the National Radio
Systems Committee -- a joint committee of NAB and the Consumer Electronics
Association -- that recommends the commission endorse daytime digital AM.

So far, IBOC AM does not work at night because it runs into something called
the "skywave," a near-vertical wave that is created when radio signals from 50
kilowatts AM clear-channel radio stations bounce off the stratosphere.

Although many commenters support approval of daytime IBOC AM, they also press
for resolution of digital AM's nighttime difficulties. Several individual
commenters opposed the adoption of IBOC AM altogether.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.