Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More news-talkers moving to FM

Last week's announcement that heritage, big signal, Atlanta News-Talker WSB-AM (750 kHz) was adding an FM simulcast is yet another benchmark in the growing trend of talkers migrating to the FM band. It follows similar moves by KSL in Salt Lake City and KCBS in San Francisco. While these appear to be smart moves, I believe that they sound a large warning signal for AM station values in the future.

A strong case could be made that the big AM News-Talkers like WSB have kept the AM band alive. News-Talk listeners have been content to seek out their programming on the AM band. If all of the major AMs throw in the towel for the FM band, who will be listening to AM? My guess is that AM will be dominated by niche players in the future: foreign language, religious, and other specialty programming.

Station prices are based on supply and demand. It looks like AM supply will be increasing at the same time that demand is decreasing.

Those are my thoughts. What are yours?

George
Media Services Group