Absolute Radio threatens AM service shutdown

Absolute Radio is wanting to reduce its medium wave coverage across the UK from 90% to 85%.

The Bauer station says that continuing to provide 90% population coverage is no longer ‘reasonably practicable’ and if permission is not granted for the reduction, it would result in Absolute Radio having to close down the entire AM Network.

Absolute Radio proposes two steps – the first to reduce the power at 5 major AM sites by 3dB, and step two, to close 12 small AM sites, and thereafter to operate a 20 site network.

In a document to Ofcom to support its request, Absolute Radio points out the BBC is closing 13 of its 50 local AM transmitters carrying BBC local radio, and that the radio scene has changed dramatically since the national AM music licence was awarded to (Virgin) them 25 years ago. Some of the equipment in use at transmitter sites is also 25 years old and to maintain the network could be commercially unviable.

Ofcom is consulting on the proposal and the closing date is 2nd March 2018.

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