Basic radio facts
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Basic Radio Facts. Chapter 3. AM “Amplitude Modulation”. The physical capability of an AM station to deliver a geographical coverage area is determined by the frequency (position on the dial) and the generator power wattage

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Am amplitude modulation
AM “Amplitude Modulation”

  • The physical capability of an AM station to deliver a geographical coverage area is determined by the frequency (position on the dial) and the generator power wattage

  • The authority to operate a station at a given frequency and power is strictly regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Am coverage
AM Coverage

  • The lower the frequency of the dial position, the less wattage of power is required to cover a given area of geography.

    • Ex: KYYZ, 560 on the dial, with 5000 watts of power and a non-directional antenna covers an area almost the size of Iowa

    • A dial position of 1590 and 1000 watts of power would expect the coverage to be inside a 50 mile radius

Fm frequency modulation
FM “Frequency Modulation”

  • The variable for FM stations is antenna height and power wattage

  • FM signals rely upon “line of sight” signal reception

  • The height of the antenna and the wattage of power determine coverage area


  • Most common format of an AM farm broadcast station is news talk

  • Second most common format for either AM or FM stations that provides farm broadcasting is country

  • Farm programming is delivered in a variety of ways tailored to the specific station’s format

Farm programming
Farm Programming

  • Stations devote one hour + of segmented farm programming blocks

  • Independent farm broadcast stations and affiliates of NAFB often provide a program menu of 2 to 4 minute farm market and farm news reports numerous times daily

Farmer habits
Farmer Habits

  • Farmer listening patterns have been established and sustained over long periods of time

  • Farm programming segments consist of 30 minutes or more in early morning and mid-day time periods

Farm broadcaster
Farm Broadcaster

  • Employment of a farm broadcaster is an economic decision

  • Considerations include the value of the farm audience and contribution to the total economic strength of the station

  • Must be desirable, profitable and sustainable long term to employ a farm broadcaster

Strengths of a farm broadcaster
Strengths of a Farm Broadcaster

  • Must be totally engaged with the local/regional agricultural community

  • Provide extensive educational and marketing assistance to the station’s sales and marketing staff

Strengths cont
Strengths Cont.

  • Be the dependable, reliable, credible source of information that impacts the lives and sustainability of producers

  • Provide leadership in communicating agricultural issues to the “non farm” & consumer audience

    • ex: PETA starts a campaign to radically impact or eliminate animal agriculture. The local farm broadcaster helps educate the non-agriculture community

Farm network
Farm Network

  • Many stations cannot justify a staff position to focus on farm programming and marketing

  • This array of stations provides opportunity for a NAFB network to provide farm programming

  • Networks design affiliate agreements in ways to reach a complimentary relationship between the the affiliated stations

Strengths of a farm network
Strengths of a Farm Network

  • The ability to deliver farm programming in a format that can be inserted into local programming

  • The ability to utilize various modes of technology to deliver programming to the stations

Network strengths cont
Network Strengths Cont.

  • A network can leverage the combined geographic areas of its affiliates into a viable marketing area

  • The network may be capable to employ multiple farm broadcasters where each broadcaster may focus on specific segments