Via Arnaldo Slaen, dxld yg (15/11-2015) via Jan Edh, ARC we learn that a process has been initiated to move Brazilian AM radio stations to FM only. The President of Brazil some days ago signed a decree authorizing stations to leave the AM band in favor for FM. The reason is, that there is a need to improve the audio quality and competitiveness of the the radio stations thus making them more attractive for advertisers.

“It is excellent news for all national broadcasters, not only because it addresses the needs and expectations of broadcasters. The decree also establishes a new framework for investments and innovations in the sector, pushing the radio to become more competitive to better serve its listeners and the market, “said the president of Brazilian Association of Radio and Television (Abert), Márcio Villela. Abert estimates that of the present 1784 AM stations operating in Brazil, some 90% will be moved to the FM band only.

To us DXers this is indeed very sad news. We will now witness the trend that has already been taking place in, e.g., Canada, not to forget the large amount of stations on the Caribbean Islands that have moved to FM. Similar discussions is also taking place in another major AM radio market in the Americas, namely México. My guess is, that the biggest radio market in the Americas, the US will soon follow.

The trend is clear, however, and there is nothing we can do about it. Not only will stations move to FM but also the web-radios are increasingly taking market shares making AM radio less attractive for the audience and for advertisers. We now that of course. What the time frame will be before all of these plans have been completed remains to be seen. My estimation is, that the AM band, within ten years or less, will resemble the situation we today have on SW. There will not be much left for us DX freaks to hunt for on AM. Maybe the band is still full of stations during the coming solar minimum around 2020, maybe not.