FCC Quickly Okaying FM Translator Requests


NABFMTranslatorThe FCC is approving applications for AM owners to modify or get new FM translators with lightning speed. FCC Chairman Tim Wheeler told attendees of NAB 2016 some 500 such applications have been approved.

Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth’s Matt McCormick agrees things are proceeding quickly.

“We’re now in the first of two modification windows,” he said. The window for Class C and D owners began Jan. 29 and continues until July 28.

On Day 1, 417 modification applications were filed; at last count 368 have been granted.

After Day 1, 355 more were filed and 279 have been granted, according to the FCC.

A second window that will include Class A and Class B owners too, opens July 29 and closes Oct. 31. “We expect it to be front-loaded, meaning those who want a translator will file on day 1,” said McCormick.

Prices have been all over the map with a range of between $20,000 to 70,000 in the Midwest and more on the east coast, he said.


  1. With these hundreds more radio licenses granted to further crowd an already over-saturated band-width while hundreds of licensed stations are off the air unable to compete, this makes absolutely no sense what-so-ever. The brokers and lawyers must be laughing all the way to the bank. Such is not serving “the public’s interest, convenience & necessity.”
    Ken Benner, NCE, CBRE,
    Serving Broadcast since 1958

  2. With these hundreds more stations clogging-up the FM dial like they have the AM band, the FM band has to be expanded NOW. I believe that Wheeler and the FCC should move NTSC Channels 5 and 6 to the FM broadcast service NOW, before they get TV stations having to relocate there with the upcoming UHF-TV rip-off auction designed to put our TV friends out of the free OTA model.

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