680/The Fan yesterday at noon began a simulcast of the sports talk station on an FM translator at 93.7.
“We wanted to add the FM option to help deliver 680’s content to people who only want to listen to the FM band,” said David Dickey, who runs the Fan.
The station has not made an official announcement because it’s still tweaking the processing and ensuring it works well. “It will take a few days,” he said.
The 93.7 signal does not cover the entire metro area but is certainly an improvement at night, when the AM signal has to power down significantly. This will help the Atlanta Thrashers, who usually play games at night and are aired on 680. The Braves will now be heard on 93.7, 680 and Rock 100.5. This also helps the morning show the Rude Awakening in the early part of the show when it’s still dark outside, especially in the winter.
The Federal Communications Commission in 2009 began allowing radio stations to simulcast on open FM signals. These “translators,” as they are called, are not allowed to create new content per se. The 99X at 97.9, for instance, originates from the HD-2 channel on 99.7
Dickey said the signal will be comparable to that of 97.9. You can view a coverage map of 97.9 here.
Cumulus Broadcasting, which operates Q100, 99X and Rock 100.5, purchased the 93.7 translator in July for $400,000, according to an AllAccess story. Since then, Dickey Broadcasting, which owns 680/The Fan, purchased the signal from Cumulus. The two companies are independent, but both have some of the same management.
AM750 and now 95.5FM News/Talk WSB added an FM simulcast in August to give listeners who prefer FM an option. Ratings have improved since the move.
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog