Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Another View: Hey, AM HD-R Critics: Got a Better Idea?

Naysayers Should Offer a Cost-Effective, Feasible Alternative or Put a Cork in It

by Stephen Poole, 12.19.2007
Stephen Poole is market chief engineer for Crawford Broadcasting Co., Birmingham, Ala., and a contributor to Radio World. Opinions are his own.

As a market chief engineer who has installed HD-R systems on two AMs and three FMs, I’d like to throw in my own two cents’ worth. In particular, I want to address the negative comments that have been made about AM HD-R in this magazine. The following are my own opinions and observations, not necessarily those of my employer.

My biggest complaint about the complainers — i.e., those who want to dismiss AM HD-R — is that they propose no real, feasible and realistic alternative. You get the impression that these naysayers want to keep AM as it is, in spite of its many problems and the precipitous decline in listenership in recent decades.

Okay, suppose they get their way: If the decline continues, the day will come when the manufacturers just stop building AM radios due to lack of demand. What will they do then?