For decades, AM radio has felt as commonplace as a utility, such a basic fact of life that it‚Äôs taken for granted. But that‚Äôs changing: Across America, AM radio stations are dwindling in number and profitability, as better-sounding FM signals become cheaper to broadcast and would-be listeners turn to the internet for entertainment.
Yet even in decline, it has a strength that politicians and media insiders who want to understand America would do well to heed. In 2019, thousands of AM stations remain on the air, many of them thriving‚ÄĒin part because they serve unique sets of people whose voices aren‚Äôt always heard loudly. For generations, it was considerably cheaper to buy or start an AM station than any other form of mass media, making ownership more accessible to people of color, immigrants, non-English speakers and those with political views outside the mainstream. Without the line-of-sight...
And that reminds me...many AM radio stations are required by federal law to reduce their power, so they can only by heard by a few people who live close to their transmitting tower. FM stations do not have this restriction. And when you live in states close to the border, or even Florida, you pick up stations from Mexico or Cuba, interfering many times with a station you really wanted to hear. Some geeks have a hobby called "DX-ing" where they seek out these far away stations. And this reminds me of HAM-radio--anyone remember that? Boy Scouts used to be involved with it as part of an emergency response--the HAM radio operators had a link to the local police and weather folk to be able to make connections when all the towers and lines are down.
Another way to analyze this is to use the free-market: how much does an ad cost on an AM station vs. an FM station vs. a TV station? I would guess that an AM rate would be $100 per second, an FM $500 per second, and TV $1000 per second. Just guessing. Anyone got a friend selling ad space on radio or TV?
I've often thought about how amazing technology is, and how we got to where we are today with all of the amazing inventions. Even way back when the first lightbulb glowed, or when the voice of a human being was heard coming out of a wooden box, etc.
The amazing thing to me is how it all came about. Think about what we had to work with...dirt, rocks, water, fire, precious metals, gems, sulfur, salt, plants and trees, oil, other various minerals, clay, and whatever other raw materials that this earth offers. From these basic materials, everything we see around us was born...the ingenuity of man is amazing. Then, we learned to harness the invisible, such as radio, and microwaves, etc. Quite remarkable...
A better story should have been about AM radio vs. FM radio vs. smartphone apps. I think the smartphone apps are the dominant players in the world of audio, and that gone are the days when you would listen to your 'favorite station' to hear your favorite song so you could feel like an evangelist, that Everyone Heard Your Song! Nowadays, you can call up a playlist of all your favorite songs, yes, even the Bible audio format or Hymns, or even...yes, Sermons from this website, to listen to all day and all night long. Who needs AM or FM radio? Who needs CD players in cars--many new ones don't even have them.
Interesting comment, "Chris" of the state of radio in England these days. How about Shortwave radio? Anyone listening to that? I guess you don't have any baseball teams to listen to their games on the AM radio, but maybe soccer, rugby, or cricket might be? Sometimes, in the good ol' US of A, the cable sports channels have a rugby game on, and for me it is such confusion. I guess the same feeling happens for Brits to watch a baseball game. NFL is the leader in all sports here, so much so that a chart comparing their TV viewers with other sports has to have an additional page attached to make them even visible, or reduce the scale so that the NFL still ranks way up top, and then the rest of the sports are indistinguishable at the bottom. Even the recent NFL Draft was televised on ABC--a free network. That shows you the power of the NFL, and even college football, because grads of College A want to see 'their' college's players get drafted. In states like Florida, there will be heated arguments about the 3 main universities' grads' getting drafted: FSU, UF, and UM. Which college had more grads?
See my comment on the Transgender news item for today from SA where I refer to what is on the radio these days.
AM radio here in Britain is virtually non-existent, but FM radio stations still struggle on
Most people listen to digital radio through special radio sets, or use their phones.
I greatly miss sometimes, my old ‚Äúdinosaur‚ÄĚ, non-smart basic mobile phone I used to have, as it had wired in FM radio, which did not use the internet.
The trouble with the Radio stations app on the mobile smart phone (generally I only listen to Classic FM, BBC Radio 3, and rarely to BBC Radio 4 and London Premier Christian Radio), is that it runs off the internet, using up my allowance for the month. as opposed to the non-internet based simple digital radio aerial service, or FM also through the aerial. That is a nuisance!!!
"First, then, let me ask you what you think of yourself? What St.Paul thought of himself you have seen and heard. Now, what are your thoughts about yourself? Have you found out that grand foundation-truth that you are a sinner, a guilty sinner in the sight of God? The cry for more education in this day is loud and incessant. Ignorance is universally deplored. But, you may depend, there is no ignorance so common and so mischievous as ignorance of ourselves. Yes: men may know all arts, and sciences, and languages, and political economy, and state-craft, and yet be miserably ignorant of their own hearts and their own state before God. Be very sure that self-knowledge is the first step towards heaven. To know God‚Äôs unspeakable perfection, and our own immense imperfection - to see our own unspeakable defectiveness and corruption, is the A B C in saving religion. The more real inward light we have, the more humble and lowly-minded we shall be, and the more we shall understand the value of that despised thing, the Gospel of Christ. He that thinks worst of himself and his own doings is perhaps the best Christian before God. Well would it be for many if they would pray, night and day, this simple prayer - ‚ÄúLord, show me myself.‚ÄĚ (RCRyle)
AM radio does not have the sound quality that FM radio has, so it is best suited for talk, news, sports, etc. It is still the only way to listen to a baseball game live without paying. Anytime you read 'download this' then you are no longer talking about AM radio but a smartphone or computer. I've never seen an AM radio that allows you to download anything. In fact, it is hard to find those old old small portable battery powered (9 volt, boxy ones) 'transistor' radios. When the power goes out due to a hurricane, who are you going to turn to? Your phone won't work because the towers are out, and your TV won't work because you have no power and the cable service is out with many cables down, etc. Some think--let's bury the utility lines and we'll avoid all that. Good, but ask the people in Houston about Harvey--it wasn't the wind that hurt them. Politico is a left-wing site, so you have to think--why are they doing this 'news' item, which is really more of an editor's idea. Maybe they thought it up in a smoky room after 5 or 6 craft beers. Will they mention the failure of the Left Wing Network, Air America? I doubt it--the Left does not seem to learn any lessons from their past experiences. After Trump won, instead of fighting it, they should have been analyzing why it happe
I listen to online radio, including unshackled, and other old time radio on the internet, Dragnet and Johnny Dollar are my favorites. It makes life abroad feel like home, especially listening to old Christmas specials ūüėä
I remember hearing those sorts of things on the radio when I was a teenager. In fact, some nostalgia was brought back just recently when I stumbled on a Christian radio station that broadcasts out of Providence, RI. Unshackled was on the lineup, which was pretty cool. I think it's still sponsored by the Pacific Garden Mission, out of Chicago. I remember the mystery/suspense type hours as well. Overall, the station is pretty decent, but like anything else, you need to be cautious.