Absolute Radio have asked Ofcom to allow them to reduce their AM coverage from 90.5% of the population to 85.4%. They plan to do this by closing some AM transmitters, and reducing the power of a few others. They reckon this would save them more than half of their costs of transmitting on AM.
Absolute Radio say that if they are not given permission to do this, they may surrender their national license and close down their entire AM network.
The radio industry may be tantalisingly close to considering digital switchover, when analogue broadcasting will stop. The government is meant to consider that when the share of digital listening reaches 50%. The latest figures show that it is now at 49.9%.
Yet with Brexit rather preoccupying political matters, some find it unlikely that switchover will happen any time soon.
How intriguing that commercial considerations are overtaking that scenario, at least for some stations.
And perhaps it’s about time. Having a music station on AM was even a little absurd in 1993 when it launched as Virgin Radio. A good excuse to post this classic Chris Morris rant about it.