Saturday, October 6, 2007

Here’s what one mom-and-pop owner – North Carolina’s Dave Lingafelt – thinks about AM digital.
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And not just nighttime. Dave tells me “It’s any time.” He owns stations near the Charlotte metro and thought about “inviting all who attended the NAB last week to tune in, to see what happens when your neighbor on the AM dial goes HD.” Now that Citadel/ABC has shut down its nighttime AM digital broadcasting pending further refinements, Lingafelt says “I just had to get this off my chest.” To wit: “630 AM [WAIZ], Hickory has had a good signal in the Charlotte area, and because we are airing a unique oldies format, we have had an excellent response in that part of the Carolinas. A few months back, I started getting calls and emails asking why they couldn’t hear us any more. I soon discovered that 610 [CBS Radio’s WFNZ] had gone HD and had knocked me out at 630 in their primary areas of signal, and created digital hash that affected the listening, even if you could still hear 630.” Dave says “It makes me so sad to see what’s happening on the AM dial in the name of progress. In the real world, no one is buying and no one cares about HD, but we continue to press forward, even though it threatens the good we already have.” He winds up with “I don’t believe anything has come along that’s more unlikely to take off in the marketplace in the year 2007 – and unfortunately, it’s destroying the AM dial.”