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This is just wrong

My apologies to all those who think that translators are more than relay points, a way to fill in coverage from the main FM station they are relaying.  They are not.  I read this bit of information on Radio-info.com this morning:

Townsquare Media bought the Albany-licensed translator from Bud Williamson’s Digital Radio Broadcasting last year for $245,000, and the signs were that it would go soft AC as “Sunny.”

The translator is going on the air as a soft AC?  WHAT?  Further down in the article it goes on to say that the translator will actually be relaying an HD-2 channel from WQSH, 105.7, a station 22 miles away.  Oh, well, that makes it okay, right?

Lets start with FCC 74.1231(a), which states:

FM translators provide a means whereby the signals of AM or FM broadcast stations may be retransmitted to areas in which direct reception of such AM or FM broadcast stations is unsatisfactory due to distance or intervening terrain barriers, and a means for AM Class D stations to continue operating at night

Notice it says “FM” or “AM.”  Since we all know that FM stands for Frequency Modulation and AM stands for Amplitude Modulation, where does that leave HD Radio®, which is neither.  As a point of technicality, HD radio uses a OFDM modulation scheme.  It may seem stupid or simple to point that out, but that is the way the rules are written and HD Radio® is not AM or FM no matter which frequency band it is using.

The second point is that translators are not supposed to originate local programming.  Again, this is a simple work around.  By putting the programming on some HD2 channel from somewhere, it is legal.  They are not even trying to hide the fact that the translator is the main market signal, calling the station “Hot 99.1,” which is the frequency of W256BU, not the so called originating station, 105.7.

Blatant, blatant, blatant disregard for the intent of translator regulations and ownership regulations.  This is something that the FCC can address in its broadcast ownership review, but of course, they won’t.  This whole, wink, wink, nod, nod business is getting a little bit difficult to stomach.  The question is what can be done about it?

Axiom


A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. An optimist sees the glass as half full. The engineer sees the glass as twice the size it needs to be.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
~1st amendment to the United States Constitution

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
~Benjamin Franklin

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
~Rudyard Kipling

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers
~Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, Article 19

...radio was discovered, and not invented, and that these frequencies and principles were always in existence long before man was aware of them. Therefore, no one owns them. They are there as free as sunlight, which is a higher frequency form of the same energy.
~Alan Weiner

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