Blowin’ in the Wind

A long post from BK10KL on the might lead one to believe that HD radio on the AM band is rapidly fading away, spurred on by some of the big guns (and investors) in the junk science:

I got this thread sent to me, it’s from the Both Sides Now Stereo Chat Board, there are some interesting things discussed in this thread:

“IBOC Interference Costs Station Sports Contract

An article in Radio & Television Business Report suggests WDFN-1130 Detroit may have lost their contract to carry the Detroit Pistons basketball games due to interference from IBOC sidebands. The article blames KMOX-1120 and WRVA-1140.

The Pistons’ Director of Broadcasting confirmed to RBR that coverage issues was the reason for the change and was almost certain that the IBOC interference was involved. It is apparent their bottom line was hurt.

The games ended up on WXYT-1270/97.1, a station owned by a different company. (WDFN is a Clear Channel station; WXYT belongs to CBS)”



“Because of the national exposure of this article and the financial impact to the Clear Channel owned WDFN-1130, Clear Channel has suspended or will be suspending all of its AM IBOC transmissions in the United States. Whether this suspension is temporary or permanent was not specified.”

I’m not sure where the update came from.

Some of these may be old news but are still current:


Citing “lackluster performance, limited benefit, and reports of significant interference,” the corporate chief engineer of Citadel Broadcasting ordered all ten stations in the company’s portfolio to cease HD-AM broadcasts. Sources within the former ABC O&O chain noted severe mutual adjacent-channel IBOC overlap adversely affecting WABC 770 New York, WJR 760 Detroit, and WSB 750 Atlanta.

The company has a total of 16 AM stations operating with HD-AM, ten of which had been operating since the FCC permitted full-power IBOC just two weeks earlier.

No decision was made as yet concerning whether to continue HD-AM at all.

The Citadel IBOC turn-off is a severe blow to the dwindling pro-AM HD herd, since even enthusiastic promoters of the system admitted that “fewer than 125” stations were operating IBOC. Industry insiders estimate the actual number is significantly fewer than that, and that the loss of the “Citadel ten” might reduce the population of  IBOC operators by as much as 66%.

Meanwhile the former legendary 50,000 watt former WCFL at 1000 kHz (now all-sports WMVP) in Chicago appears unlikely to utilize IBOC at all, due to the deep nulls required in its directional pattern and critical networks in the station’s antenna phasing system.”



With the debut of its nostalgia “Sinatra Lounge” format, veteran broadcaster WHAT 1340 in Philly has turned off their IBOC sidebands. The station had previously wooed a younger demographic with an edgy talk format called “skin radio” and had thought that digital might complement the marketing effort, but that never materialized.”



Radio World reports that “at Cox Radio, one of the industry’s largest radio groups with 67 FM and 13 AM stations, and where HD is considered a priority, AM HD-R has been turned off at the three or four stations that are outfitted, said Sterling Davis, vice-president of engineering.”

“ ‘Once we had several of our stations up and working, we turned around and shut them off,’ he said.”

The reason was objectionable hiss detected on the analog signal on a select group of car radios, according to Davis. When contacted by RW, iBiquity displayed its characteristic arrogant denial of any problem. The company’s spokeswoman, Vicky Stern, blamed the problem on the car radios for being “too wide-band.” She predicted that because “few wide-band receivers were sold … this is not a serious issue.” Ha ha ha.

The Cox AM stations still have HD-AM turned off, day and night. Davis noted that “iBiquity was claiming to be working on a solution. So since iBiquity did not address that issue we have discontinued the IBOC transmissions. Contacted by this site for comment, Mr. Davis was asked if he could confirm or deny that IBOC had been abandoned by Cox. “We had a contract with iBiquity for the operations of the units for our AMs. When they arrived, we install them, test them, make sure they meet the task, then shut them back off. We have a boss who was once a program director, and on one brand of car radio…you can hear a faint buzz. Listeners noted an immediate improvement to the quality of WHAT’s analog signal with the abandonment of IBOC.”

More at:


2 Responses


    OT – I got this very nice visit today from JP Morgan Chase, iBiquity investor. Heard from them, KPPR?

  2. “Debate Heats Up Over Converting to HD”

    This is the third in a series of related posts by Radio Ink. It sure feels like something major is going to happen, especially the way Clear Channel has been dissing HD Radio, lately.

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