[Other Topic] Need a FM translator? There are some for sale

Iceberg

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The No Pain Train
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Nov 17, 2003
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None Your Business
THANK YOU FCC. On October 23rd the commissioners at the FCC rescued much of the AM radio industry with a Rulemaking that will allow any AM owner to buy an FM Translator currently licensed anywhere within 250 miles of their AM station. They can then relocate the FM Translator to their market with one simple filing in an upcoming “one time only” filing window expected in early 2016. Subject to availability of unused FM channel(s) in their market, an FM Translator will allow them to simulcast their AM on the FM dial in high fidelity stereo 24 hours a day at full power…regardless of any current critical hours and/or nighttime AM restrictions.

25+ FM Translators available for auction and sale. PREVIEWS NOW. Registration open now. Buy Now prices available prior to auction. Auction bids accepted beginning 9AM CST Wednesday December 2, 2015. Auction ends 5PM CST Wednesday December 9, 2015.

http://fmtranslatorauction.com/
 

mikekohl

Prehistoric Satellite Guru
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Jun 4, 2004
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Read the fine print. This is a private auction by a group that has speculated or otherwise obtained all of these licenses/CPs and is re-selling them for a profit, with perfect timing to take advantage of a change in FCC policy. A shortcut to get anyone in this situation (having an AM station) and getting an FM translator on the air by paying upwards of $50K to get ahead of the line. Still a great solution that gets into the Express Lane. But definitely not entirely from the benevolence of the FCC; probably a great get-rich quick scheme for those involved in unloading these.
 

radio

"On the Air" in MI
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Oct 13, 2007
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West Central Michigan
The possibility of "hopping" a translator for AM's without all the B.S. and paperwork currently in place will be very nice, but it WILL drive UP the cost of all translators most likely.

We had ours in the "making" for us and the deal ready even before they were officially "legal" for AM's, and at that time would have required an STA (special temporary authority.) I think it's near 6 years we've had it now! Even moving ours about 3 physical miles took two "hops" to do it the old way. One "hop" was to an intermediate frequency which was (and may still) be required because you can't just file for a frequency and get it, you have to "hop" to certain intermediate frequencies to GET to the final one. (This may also change in the ruling, I don't know) We had to I-F hop from 103.7 to 93.1 before we were allowed to settle in on 92.7. The second "hop" to 92.7 was physical AND frequency, the first was just a frequency change at the original site. Technically, a "build" and "operate" was required on EACH hop, and this is what the FCC is trying to streamline.....so we don't have to buy, build, run, hop, ...build...run...hop....repeatedly to get to our final sites for AM into FM translators.

Properly bought and used, FM can help where REALLY needed for an underserved signal situation. Translator owners wanting to make a fast buck on translators will treat this like a "real estate" transaction, and I predict more problems will develop as stations whose programming is NOT already supported well by advertisers go in to debt they can't afford thinking FM will "save" them, when really it's PROGRAMMING and SOUND that they need before anything else.
....Without the "ears" listening to an AM, and incoming dollars, all the FM signal in the world won't help a poorly programmed AM station to survive.

I applaud the effort by Mr. Pai and the FCC, but I fear how some operators will misuse and abuse the system. My bet is we find a wave of AM's WITH TRANSLATORS for sale in a few years by the operators who didn't realize that they needed internal changes more than they needed the FM.

The other interesting thing to note is that there's been TONS of available translators in some markets that wouldn't sell at their listed prices BEFORE this "help for AM" issue arose. It'll be interesting to see if the sellers really WANT to sell them to get them into new owner's hands, or if they try to scalp AM's at a higher price than at what they were originally listed publicly.

Signed,
"Watching with interest as always...."
 

Mister B

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Jun 3, 2008
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I hate to see the FM band crowded up even more with low power transmitters on every available frequency. Unbelievably, between El Paso, Juarez and Las Cruces there are almost as many stations on the dial as when I lived in the Los Angeles region. But, if it is an inevitable sign of the times, I would prefer to see more of the HD-02 stations have a low power translator on FM than the AM stations. I am perfectly willing to listen to AM if the programming is desirable. However, I tried two moderately priced HD radios and they failed miserably. The only name brand home receivers with HD built in are the most expensive top-of -the -line models.
 

Iceberg

Thread Starter
The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
282
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None Your Business
I would prefer to see more of the HD-02 stations have a low power translator on FM than the AM stations
Crap Channel errr I fart media is already doing that. Minneapolis they have 5 or 6 HD2 signals on analog LP stations
 

radio

"On the Air" in MI
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Oct 13, 2007
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West Central Michigan
Well, THIS window is for AM's only, so why not wish the best to some local stations and hope that they DO with a translator added what they should be doing anyway...producing GOOD programming. The big boys don't NEED translators on their high power stations, and this business of translating HD to literally CHEAT on ownership reports because you've reached your ownership cap and translators don't count is the biggest BS to hit the radio industry in years. IN a nutshell, stations that do this are greedily operated, and are cutting the pieces of their OWN pie even smaller. I know of one who sold spots so low on his translated HD "stations" he couldn't figure out why his mother ship station was losing money! Amazing the mentality of the "Gotta have more" owners.
 
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Blindowl1234

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Dec 16, 2008
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It won't help in the Cincy Dayton area I can't think of an FM frequency that's open. There are some small AM stations that would benefit from having an FM signal here though.
 

radio

"On the Air" in MI
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Oct 13, 2007
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West Central Michigan
And, what has NOT been mentioned here, is that Translators are NOT protected by the FCC. If a full power signal complains successfully, or another "real" station is found to be able to be moved TO an existing translator's dial setting, the translator HAS to shut down. We buy translators, we PAY for their use via regulatory fees and licensing, but we're not protected at all like the parent license-is. In larger cities, as mentioned above, where the dial is nearly full, it would be easy to shut down a translator, or file for it NOT to be granted. Ah yes, but radio (viewed by the public) is a "license to print money." Insert buzzer here. This all points back to the responsibility of AM survival going to owners and Program Directors and Engineers who CARE about the product enough to make it viable with or without FM.
 
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Mister B

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Am I correct in understanding that for a FM translator to be above 91.9 the parent station must be picked up by a radio at the translator location? KRWG-FM (NPR from NMSU) has one nearby translator in Deming, NM on 93.5 and all of the more distant relays in rural New Mexico are at the low end of the dial. Below 92 on the dial here is absolutely packed, mostly with very low power religion stations that seem to come from Idaho or California. I have to wonder how many listeners they could have. It takes a very good radio to get them.
 

radio

"On the Air" in MI
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Oct 13, 2007
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Not quite correct.

"Fill-in Translators" which is what ALL AM's are classified-as can feed their translator from most any source. In the case of researching ALL translators, you can review most licenses online at the FCC site for what type of feed they are, and what station is contracted as the source of the programming.

ORIGINALLY (and likely still today) FM into FM translators need to be fed "over the air" It's not the frequency of the translator, it's the employment "purpose" of it that determines how it is legally fed by policy. With AM stations, had they held to the original "fed over the air"...many stations would have MONO FM translators, or, in our case and many others, not been able to pick up a signal at night TO rebroadcast due to tight patterns after dark not reaching the FM site if it was separate. AM's like mine can feed directly from our program source on-site to our co-located translator. However, if we were FORCED to go via "over the air" I would certainly feed our AM STEREO into the FM STEREO translator. (one of the reasons we WENT AM stereo was that this was a gray area, undecided at the time of our translator purchase, and we WANTED our FM to be full stereo legally.) Even offsite translators in some cases are fed via a studio to transmitter link, or an internet feed. Some are even fed via an HD piggybacked on another station's main signal if they can agree on terms.

SOME religious station translators are the result of "studio waivers" in the first place on their parent stations. Another (don't get me started) line of BS fed down by the Feds to our industry. In a nutshell, some religious organizations end up buying signals, filing to eliminate the main studio rule, then operate a full class station and signal with no local involvement in community, no studio open for inspection, no benefit to the city of license. Burns my butt that they do that! I witnessed this happening in one Mid Michigan County a year or so ago. Station bought, studios closed, only an internet receiver for programming feeding a transmitter constitutes that "station" now. But, I digress.....
 
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The Fat Man

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Oct 2, 2010
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I hate to see the FM band crowded up even more with low power transmitters on every available frequency. Unbelievably, between El Paso, Juarez and Las Cruces there are almost as many stations on the dial as when I lived in the Los Angeles region. But, if it is an inevitable sign of the times, I would prefer to see more of the HD-02 stations have a low power translator on FM than the AM stations. I am perfectly willing to listen to AM if the programming is desirable. However, I tried two moderately priced HD radios and they failed miserably. The only name brand home receivers with HD built in are the most expensive top-of -the -line models.
What the difference? I could put any content on either HD substation or AM.
 

Mister B

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My point as a listener was that I am not able utilize the content on the HD sub-channels as there are very few quality HD radios available in a price range that I am willing to pay. If the sub-channels were also transmitted on low power standard FM, I could listen to them. It would also suit me just fine if they were re-transmitted on AM, but I am not sure if that ever happens.
 

Iceberg

Thread Starter
The No Pain Train
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Nov 17, 2003
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None Your Business
well a couple were sold

per northpine

Brooke Ingstad's Radio Wahpeton Breckenridge LLC is buying an FM translator that could potentially be moved to the Breckenridge area to relay KBMW/1450. Radio Wahpeton Breckenridge will pay First Ventures Capital Partners $35,000 for K264AY/100.7 (Chamberlain, SD); Breckenridge is within the 250-mile zone for K264AY to potentially move during an FCC filing window next year. Meanwhile, Radio Wahpeton Breckenridge is in the process of buying KBMW from Radio Fargo-Moorhead for $300,000 in what amounts to an inter-family transfer. Radio Fargo-Moorhead is controlled by Brooke Ingstad's father, Jim, and Brooke owns 11 percent of Radio Fargo-Moorhead
 

Iceberg

Thread Starter
The No Pain Train
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Nov 17, 2003
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None Your Business
and another
Double Z Broadcasting is buying an FM translator that could potentially be moved to Devils Lake to relay KDLR/1240. Double Z will pay First Ventures Capitol Partners $35,000 for K207EB/89.3 (Redfield, SD), which is within the 250-mile zone for translators to be moved to Devils Lake in an FCC filing window next year.
 

Iceberg

Thread Starter
The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
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None Your Business
couple more sold

Radio Fargo-Moorhead is buying translator K288FF/105.5 (Bismarck) from First Ventures Capital Partners for $40,000. The translator could potentially be moved east to relay Radio Fargo-Moorhead's KQWB/1660 (West Fargo) during a filing window for 250-mile moves for AM-on-FM translators planned for next year.
 

Iceberg

Thread Starter
The No Pain Train
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Nov 17, 2003
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None Your Business
Mid-West Management is buying translator W227BL/93.3 (Galena, IL) from First Ventures Capital Partners for $35,000. The translator could potentially be moved to Madison, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Rockford, Springfield, or southwestern Michigan to relay one of Mid-West's AM stations during next year's filing window for 250-mile moves.
 

Thelucky1

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Aug 28, 2010
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Mid-West Management is buying translator W227BL/93.3 (Galena, IL) from First Ventures Capital Partners for $35,000. The translator could potentially be moved to Madison, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Rockford, Springfield, or southwestern Michigan to relay one of Mid-West's AM stations during next year's filing window for 250-mile moves.

Are these purchases "buy now" limited to AM operators? Or could I buy this for Fm and wait for a new FM window? Is there a new window opening for FM translators?
 

Iceberg

Thread Starter
The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
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Are these purchases "buy now" limited to AM operators?
yes. And the filing window has closed a while ago. It was for class D AM stations to get a FM translator and move it up to 250 miles away from the original city of license (as long as the new location can support that frequency)

I had a post in another threrad about it

FCC'S AM REVITALIZATION PLAN: MORE FM TRANSLATOR OPPORTUNITIES
The FCC's AM revitalization plan includes an order that creates two new opportunities for AM stations to get FM translators:

First, a filing window in 2016 will give AM stations a chance to move an existing FM translator up to 250 miles to serve as an AM-on-FM translator. Currently, such moves can be achieved with a waiver (which is limited to a shorter distance) or a lengthy chain-link "hop" consisting of a series of temporary facilities. Only class C and D stations, which are generally less powerful, will be allowed to apply for moves in the first six months, with class A and B stations joining the party for a subsequent three-month window.

Then, there will be a filing window in 2017 for new FM translator licenses, limited to AM stations that didn't get one in the 2016 window. Class C and D stations will again get first crack.

However, these windows may not be of much benefit to AM stations in major markets, where there does not appear to be room for any more FM translators with significant coverage.



http://www.satelliteguys.us/xen/posts/3756110/
 

radio

"On the Air" in MI
Pub Member / Supporter
Oct 13, 2007
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West Central Michigan
Once the window closed on class D's, stations like mine are allowed next with the same general terms of distance, as long as the "destination" frequency properly fits in the table of allocations (frequencies that will work properly in each location)....but that window with those terms will only come once.

Stations have been allowed on their own terms to buy and move translators for quite some time (AMs that is) but...when these special windows are not "open"...you have to find, buy, and make some intermediate hops until you get to your final destination both physically and electronically. For instance, WE had to hop from 103.7 to 93.1, then to our final 92.7. The first hop was on the same site as the original, only a frequency setting. The second was the build at our studio site. Each build had to be done and verified before moving on, and...the signal hop/rebuild had to be within the primary coverage of the build FROM which you were moving, meaning MANY hops and great expenses incurred. One or two is not too expensive, but more is quite costly. That's why these windows of opportunity are very important.
 
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Iceberg

Thread Starter
The No Pain Train
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Nov 17, 2003
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None Your Business
I've seen that happen here in MN which brings me to a question in a bit.

There were 2 FM translators licensed to Hinckley, MN (1/2 way between Minneapolis and Duluth) and it was for Minn Public Radio. When MPR got 2 full service (satellite) stations in the area they sold the translators to a guy in St Cloud who wanted to do FM translators of his AM stations and spent about 4 years doing the "translator hop" since its so far away. Here is a snippet form Northpine about it back last year
Two FM translators that have been on a chain-link move from Hinckley for a few years have received construction permits for what may be their final destination. W293CS/106.5 and W297BO/107.3 will move their transmitters to Sauk Rapids, where they will transmit with 250 Watts from the "Red House That Rocks," home of WHMH/101.7 (Sauk Rapids-St. Cloud) and four AM stations. WHMH-HD3, which relays the Classic Country format of WVAL/800 (Sauk Rapids-St. Cloud), is specified as the primary station for W293CS. WHMH-HD2, which relays the Classic Album Rock format of WXYG/540 (Sauk Rapids-St. Cloud), is specified as the primary station for W297BO. W297BO is owned by Herbert Hoppe, who is the majority owner of WHMH and the AM stations, while W293CS is headed by Mark Hoppe. They would actually be the second and third FM translators simulcasting AM programming in St. Cloud, since K277BS/103.3 has already been relaying the News/Talk format of Leighton Enterprises' KNSI/1450 (St. Cloud) for several years.

Now the question is this....these 2 stations are still (according to the FCC) licensed to Hinckly even though Hinckly is no where remotely close to the coverage area (see pic below. The black circle is Hinckley (click to enlarge)

Untitled.jpg

Now my question is I see on the FCC site your translator (92.7) is licensed to Ionia. So of all these "moves" of translators do you think the FCC site will show the "actual" spot or the "orignal" (as in up to 250 miles away) spot?
 

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