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Author Topic: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?  (Read 2257 times)

bandit957

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Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« on: September 09, 2018, 06:47:47 PM »

I mean it. Does ANYONE in the good ol' U.S. of A. still listen to AM, other than 50,000-watt stations like WLW? WLW is the only AM station anyone around here still listens to at all. WCKY is another 50,000-watt station, and NOBODY still listens to it. Then there's the regional stations that have less wattage but still good reception, like WKRC, and nobody listens to those either. Maybe in a smaller city with no 50,000-watt stations, people still listen to a station with less wattage (like Lexington), but that's about it.
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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2018, 06:57:06 PM »

I sometimes listen to WPRO for traffic and local RI stuff. Other than that, I don't listen to AM much these days. There were some 50,000 watters and a Hartford sports station that I used to listen to, but I've been in another part of the state for 6 years.
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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2018, 07:21:11 PM »

When driving around, particularly in rural areas, I occasionally like to scan around the AM dial—literally by turning the dial, not hitting SCAN, since the electronics would certainly omit the weak signals that I’m hoping to find.

Outside of the predictable (and tiresome) nationally programmed political and sports talk, you can sometimes find some bizarre stuff...polka hours hosted by guys with heavy German accents, low budget local variety shows that sound like the second coming of Cas Walker, small town call-in shows where people are griping about the fact that the meters in front of the courthouse no longer take dimes, and unintentionally hilarious fire-and-damnation preachers destined for stardom on shortwave. Granted, these little gems are relatively few and far between and getting scarcer every day, but I still enjoy stumbling upon them from time to time.

In addition to the above mentioned small town stations that sound like a real-life version of Fernwood 2 Night, I’ll also check in on highway advisory radio stations (which sometimes serve as repeaters of NOAA Weather Radio when inactive) or to see what distant signals I can pull in. Even though there are various terrestrial stations that I’ll stream via the Internet for an occasional listen, it’s sometimes nice to pick up the broadcast signal because various local items (local commercials, local news/traffic, station IDs, etc.) are filtered from some Internet streams.
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abefroman329

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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2018, 07:49:41 PM »

Not with any regularity, no. Though the gems Brian just mentioned are really something else.
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DTComposer

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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2018, 08:09:14 PM »

The local sports station (KNBR) when I want their lovingly biased play-by-play of Giants and 49ers games, and KGO (see below) when I want the Cal play-by-play. KNX when I'm in L.A., mostly for traffic.

Even the all-news station I occasionally listen to (KCBS) has an FM repeater, and the Sharks and Warriors are both on FM stations as well.

I grew up in the glory days of KGO, a 50,000-watt talk station with all local talent - a real rarity then, let alone now. They were the #1 station in the Bay Area for nearly three decades with voices from strongly liberal to moderately conservative/libertarian, and I enjoyed them all - this was long before the self-aggrandizing, bloviating voices that dominate talk radio (across all ideologies) today. They could talk with equal knowledge and eloquence on both national and local issues.

Corporate ownership (Cumulus) caught up with them, and through a series of purges they're now a shell of their former self.
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21stCenturyRoad

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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2018, 08:12:47 PM »

I listen to my local news/talk AM station (WIOD) every morning on my way to class. I find it useful for news and traffic reports.
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1995hoo

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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2018, 08:16:12 PM »

Sports when a game isn’t on FM or XM (or if we’re in one of the cars that doesn’t have XM).
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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2018, 09:02:19 PM »

I listen to the news/traffic stations (880 WCBS from NYC quite a bit, and KYW 1060 when I'm closer to Philly) and occasionally dial around elsewhere on AM.
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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2018, 09:07:42 PM »

Of course.  There are all kinds of news and talk programs on AM radio, and some of the small ones have niches like sports, religious programs, and hobbies.  AM 820 and AM 590 are local examples of small ones that I listen to at least weekly.
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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2018, 09:23:47 PM »

KRLD-1080 or WBAP-820 for local news/weather/traffic.

If I'm online, sometimes I'll click on WBBR, WCBS, WINS, or KYW once in a while.
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jp the roadgeek

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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2018, 11:33:46 PM »

There were some 50,000 watters and a Hartford sports station that I used to listen to, but I've been in another part of the state for 6 years.

If you're referring to ESPN Radio 1410, it's now on 97.9 FM. WAVZ 1300 in New Haven still simulcasts most, if not all programming, including UConn broadcasts.

I only will listen in my car when I want news, traffic, a game is on, or I feel like hearing some regional sports talk.  Only stations I listen to are WTIC in Hartford for traffic, news, and now just Red Sox games (UConn sports moved to 97.9).  Also listen to WFAN on 660 occasionally since it's so widely available and 101.9 doesn't reach my area.  I'll hit up WCBS 880 for any major national breaking news stories
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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2018, 12:27:06 AM »

Honestly, I mainly do it when I'm on the road and those motorist service signs tell you to tune in for highway advisories.

Every now and then, I try to do it on a whim just for the hell of it though.


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jon daly

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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2018, 06:28:31 AM »

There were some 50,000 watters and a Hartford sports station that I used to listen to, but I've been in another part of the state for 6 years.

If you're referring to ESPN Radio 1410, it's now on 97.9 FM. WAVZ 1300 in New Haven still simulcasts most, if not all programming, including UConn broadcasts.

I only will listen in my car when I want news, traffic, a game is on, or I feel like hearing some regional sports talk.  Only stations I listen to are WTIC in Hartford for traffic, news, and now just Red Sox games (UConn sports moved to 97.9).  Also listen to WFAN on 660 occasionally since it's so widely available and 101.9 doesn't reach my area.  I'll hit up WCBS 880 for any major national breaking news stories
.



Those are the ones I listened to, jp. I was actually in the suburbs east of Hartford over the weekend and searching the AM dial in my car and also came across a religious station out of Vernon. But my car antenna is weak so even WTIC was faint.
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qguy

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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2018, 06:35:31 AM »

KYW 1060 when I'm closer to Philly

KYW is like a utility. Their "traffic on the twos" (including transit) is essential to getting around in Phila. It's frequent, thorough, and concise. Even in the internet-and-smart-phone age, I listened to it every time I went out (when I lived in Phila and still do whenever I'm in town). One nice thing is that their news has less political bias than most.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 06:37:36 AM by qguy »
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SP Cook

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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2018, 09:00:27 AM »

Yes.  I have SXM, and have had since about when it was invented, but AM is a necessary supplement in certain cituations. 

- Local weather. 
- Traffic, although unlike most places knowing of road issues is simply piece of mind as there are no practical alternative routes in most situations.
- Local news. 
- Local political talk and local sports talk.
- Sports.  SXM only has the home feed, I want to listen to my team via my team's announcers.   SXM does not carry nearly all DI college games.    Also does not carry the coach's shows, pre game post game, etc.

AM has a lot of utility.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2018, 09:13:34 AM »

KYW 1060 when I'm closer to Philly

KYW is like a utility. Their "traffic on the twos" (including transit) is essential to getting around in Phila. It's frequent, thorough, and concise. Even in the internet-and-smart-phone age, I listened to it every time I went out (when I lived in Phila and still do whenever I'm in town). One nice thing is that their news has less political bias than most.

KYW is also a 'big' 50,000 watt station. Mr. Bubbles is looking for those small, 2,000 watt stations that are barely known to exist!

The traffic reports on KYW are OK, but sometimes outdated or very generalized.  Better than nothing though in many instances.
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nexus73

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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2018, 09:22:21 AM »

The local sports station (KNBR) when I want their lovingly biased play-by-play of Giants and 49ers games, and KGO (see below) when I want the Cal play-by-play. KNX when I'm in L.A., mostly for traffic.

Even the all-news station I occasionally listen to (KCBS) has an FM repeater, and the Sharks and Warriors are both on FM stations as well.

I grew up in the glory days of KGO, a 50,000-watt talk station with all local talent - a real rarity then, let alone now. They were the #1 station in the Bay Area for nearly three decades with voices from strongly liberal to moderately conservative/libertarian, and I enjoyed them all - this was long before the self-aggrandizing, bloviating voices that dominate talk radio (across all ideologies) today. They could talk with equal knowledge and eloquence on both national and local issues.

Corporate ownership (Cumulus) caught up with them, and through a series of purges they're now a shell of their former self.

KGO has the best signal up here on the Oregon south coast. I still keep one of my collector radios tuned to 810 AM for checking out how the rest of the West is doing when major power outages (rare) affect us.  I figure if KGO is down, so is everything else! KGO is what I use when wanting to hear Cal football or basketball as I am a Pac-12 fan.

During the Yom Kippur War, KNX was it for finding out if we had got to WW3.  There were no 24 hour news stations on cable and not much on cable in 1973 but there sure was plenty of news radio on clear channels!

For local AM, not much is listened to since the high school/college games are almost all on FM.  Oregon State's broadcasts are supposed to be on a local AM station this season but they aren't.  They are the last team on a local station using amplitude modulation.

Coos County has had 4 AM stations for decades, with the first one coming along in 1924.  Today the stations are conservative talk radio, sports radio, liberal talk radio and a high school-run one with a mix of programming.  Back in the day they were respectively local radio, local radio with some rock and ABC network to go with sports, local radio with country combined with Top 40 and sports and the last one was the Top 40 station.  We did not even have an FM station here until the Eighties!  The Oregon coast did not get one until the second half of the Seventies and it was an easy listening station 100 miles north of my area that barely came in.

Rick
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abefroman329

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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2018, 09:42:18 AM »

It’s kinda mind-blowing that my parents once owned a car where the FM radio was an after-market accessory.

SP, if you listen to SiriusXM online, and possibly using the smartphone app, you have a choice of home and away announcers for sports.
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Roadrunner75

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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2018, 11:27:07 AM »

It’s kinda mind-blowing that my parents once owned a car where the FM radio was an after-market accessory.
I owned a car during the mid/late 90s with an AM stock radio (with one speaker) during the last half of college and two years afterwards - a brown '79 Ford Pinto wagon.  I eventually yanked it out and jammed in a Pioneer AM/FM/tape deck and rigged up two cabinet speakers that sat on my back seats.  When I had passengers in the back we tossed them in the cargo area.  My parents owned a number of old clunkers over the years, many with just AM radios if they worked at all.

And for those wondering (who are old enough to recall), they fixed the gas tank problem by my Pinto's model, so I wasn't driving around in constant fear of getting blown up in a collision.
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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2018, 11:29:33 AM »

I listen to AM 940 in my work car a lot which gets ESPN programming and some local California stuff.  I used to switching between ESPN 620, FOX 910, and Sporting News 1060 a ton in Phoenix.  When I in high school AM 730 used to pick up some ESPN programing around Lansing and had a lot of local Michigan sports shows.

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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2018, 11:49:57 AM »

I hardly ever listen to WTMJ anymore the big 50,000 watt AM in Milwaukee. The only AM I listen to a lot is WISN. I will occasionally listen to the sports stations on 540,920 and 1250 on weekends during football season but that is about it.
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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2018, 12:24:08 PM »

890AM for Notre Dame broadcasts, otherwise nope
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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2018, 12:45:23 PM »

Will once in a while, but no interest anymore.  One station I help out with their fundraiser is on AM so, if I can get the signal, I will listen to it.  The station is listener supported and love the cause of their programming.

I used to listen to it more before I got discouraged in what or what does not happen in the US lately.  Now even in Orlando, though, AM talk is on FM, as Cox Media (whom I took a studio tour at during a class assignment ) removed WHTQ to get the younger demographics interested in talk and discussion programing as the previous Classic Rock was not attracting sponsors.  Yet, later on, their sister station WMMO started to play some classic rock from the old HTQ era, as their program director is an ex DJ at the defunct 96.5, but its still some of the MMO format mixed in.

As we all know marketing relies on demographics for listeners so that the right sponsors can buy ad times.  Do not ask me how, as the same goes for Nielsons as all they need to do is survey a select group of different age categories and just by their responses can determine what America wants and needs due to math.   Also that is how they determine at election time who is voting for who, due to the select demographics in the same manner the Nielson's are determined what shows we watch.
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bandit957

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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2018, 12:52:27 PM »

Around here, a local 500-watt AM station was top 40 until 1987, and people still listened to other AM stations for years after that. But it's probably been 7 or 8 years since I've noticed anyone around here listening to AM other than WLW. A few people listen to FM translators for smaller AM stations, but that's it.
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Re: Does ANYONE still listen to AM radio (except really big stations)?
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2018, 01:31:10 PM »

a brown '79 Ford Pinto wagon.
...
And for those wondering (who are old enough to recall), they fixed the gas tank problem by my Pinto's model, so I wasn't driving around in constant fear of getting blown up in a collision.
IIRC, that issue didn't involve the wagon models at all; mainly because such were 10 inches longer in the rear than the sedan & runabout (hatchback) models.
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