Tri States Public Radio Staff
Low Power FM Radio
Tue July 3, 2012
Shop Talk - July 2
The panelists talk about the possible addition of many more lower power FM (LPFM) stations to the nation's airwaves.
The magazine Current reported the FCC is getting ready to open a filing window for LPFM applications. It would be the first such filing window in more than a decade.
LPFM stations generally serve rural markets and cover a small geographic area -- usually around 3.5 miles. A few restrictions will reportedly be loosened for the next round of LPFM applicants so it's possible some of those stations will locate in larger markets.
The Shop Talk panelists say LPFMs usually present programming that won't be found elsewhere on the radio dial. In some small markets, the stations might broadcast in a foreign language to serve an audience that's generally underrepresented in such areas.
It was hoped HD radio would help fill market niches but it never gained a foothold, partially because it was so poorly promoted.