Maximizing AM & FM Radio Signals

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Dear Christian Radio,

We are in a unique position in our industry.  Government regulation of AM & FM radio stations by the FCC creates a finite amount of radio stations which are our competitors.  The FCC regulations also specify the size and geographic location of your radio stations.  Each AM & FM radio station has a community which they are licensed to serve – however, some radio stations are smaller and larger than others.  Those regulations that limit the number of stations also limit the opportunities to improve your radio station signals.

Are you as a Christian radio professional maximizing your AM or FM radio station signal to the fullest?  Put another way, have you studied your radio station signal to determine if you can move and/or increase your radio station signal to increase the reach of your radio station?

For many people in Christian radio, I think the answer is ‘no’.  Larger radio groups and those with dedicated engineering staff may be able to study their signals but many smaller radio stations & groups have not explored those opportunities to the fullest.  As other radio stations move around and change signal strength, there are chances for your radio station to improve its signal.

Radio consultants who study your signals can be an invaluable tool to your radio station.  If you are only talking to a consultant about studying your signals every few years, this is probably not often enough to assure that you are not missing opportunities.  These opportunities may pop up for a few months or years and then close again.  I would recommend that you have a consultant study your radio signals every few months at a minimum.  They may even be able to monitor your radio signals to know the minute an opportunity arises.

When talking with the consulting engineer, be clear with him/her about the objectives of your radio station.  In what geographic areas would you like to improve or expand your signal?  What are your goals of upgrading or moving your radio station?  These are all important to their research.

Dear Christian Radio:

  1. Always be on the lookout for ways to improve your radio station signal.
  2. Have a good consulting engineer look at your radio stations for improvement opportunities.
  3. Be clear with your consultants about the goals and objectives of your radio station.

David Hodges, Director of Engineering
Positive Alternative Radio

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