Inside Radio reports today that a large spike in stations filing for ‘silent’ status has occurred this past month mostly as a result of the financial crisis due to the pandemic & resulting lockdown with diminished advertising revenue. The article states: “A group of 45 stations have signed off the air since March 11, the date the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. Of those, 17, or 38%, specifically listed financial conditions due to the Coronavirus pandemic in their Special Temporary Authority (STA) application filing with the FCC.The remainder referenced a variety of unrelated reasons including technical problems, pending station sales and not being able to reach an agreement with a tower company. A group of 35 radio stations went dark in April, bringing the total number of stations off the air to 369, up from 334 in March. The April number is the highest amount of stations off the air during the previous 12 months. Most are AM outlets and many are located in small markets.Not all stations said it was the financial pressure of the economic shutdown that was their breaking point. In some cases broadcasters have told the FCC their stations need repairs but because of the lockdown they haven’t been able to get crews onsite to perform the work. The number of licensed radio stations that are currently silent rises and falls from month to month. During the past 12 months, the number has increased or decreased by as much as 18 and by as little as two. An increase of 35 stations in one month is highly unusual.” Regionally, Bustos Media 1210 KMIA & 1130 KXET Mt Angel/Salem OR have left the air due to financial hardship & have ‘silent STA’ status filed with the FCC.
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