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Reply #5

In the discussion thread: Black and White TV and AM Radio [View all]

Response to Tsiyu (Original post)

Sun Dec 11, 2011, 02:00 AM

5. AM Radio

I do understand your passion for AM (REAL OLD FASHIONED) AM radio. There was a time when every station on the AM band had at least a little bit of its own personality. There were so many different music format possibilities, talk was generally a fairly tame thing, with people calling in for help with their lives or to talk about their pets or something. There were all-news channels. Much of what was on the radio was locally produced, outside of the music. Stations had their own news departments, unique talents, and niches in their communities. This AM radio is virtually gone. There are still stations out there like this on AM. WSM 650 in Nashville comes to mind. It is an old country station, a 50kW powerhouse blasting out to the Eastern US. It still (so far as I know) plays the Grand Ol' Opry live. I have gone on long trips and kept WSM on, and some of the old Country they play, no stereo, pops and hisses and crackles intact, has an almost other-worldly quality when belting through the dark night on the highway. There are others out there that still have country formats like WSM, or oldies, even hot A/C and others. There are still stations like 1060 KYW that seem to remain nothing but all-news. Some stations, at night, broadcast shows that are aimed at truckers specifically, with plenty of weather forecasts and road conditions that truckers can use and shows to entertain them. However, most AM stations these days are one of two things: all sports and RW blither. They are, as you say, the same thing, whether you are in Portland, Maine or Portland Oregon, or Springfield Mass or Springfield MO. They are nothing more than soulless, centralized rebroadcasts of the same tired old RW hacks who park it in front of a microphone and spew hate all day for a living. My city has at least three stations. I guess some people want to hear the same hatemonger several times a day. It makes me sad, that such a formerly-interesting band has grown into such a cess pool. I still DX (listen for distant stations and log them, for those unfamiliar with the term "DX" all the time. I really don't have much against the all-sports stations. I can't imagine listening to sports all day, and it is kind of bothersome that they are all canned. But at least they aren't hatemongering on there.

I'd like to see, someday, AM return to being a part of communities all over the US. I wonder how many more jobs there could be, with more newsrooms and local announcers, and corresponding necessary support staffs for them! AM has a feel, a sound to it, that I would think those who love "retro" would really get into. I know this is a pipe dream, as satellite radio and other modes of broadcast come about. But it is MY pipe dream!

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