In a Report and Order (R&O) released on June 29, 2009, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established permanent rules for AM stations to rebroadcast on FM translators. Specifically, the R&O permits any AM station to use an FM translator, so long as the translator station was authorized prior to May 1, 2009. FM translators that provide fill-in service to daytime-only AM stations may originate programming at night when the daytime-only AM station is not operating.
The R&O also allows AM stations to enter into time brokerage agreements (TBAs) with FM translator licensees in the non-reserved band. AM stations, however, are not permitted to enter into TBAs for FM translators in the reserved portion of the band (88.1-91.9 MHz).
Finally, the FCC will only permit AM stations to use "fill-in" FM translators if the 60 dBu contour of the FM translator does not extend beyond the smaller of: (a) the 2 mV/m daytime contour of the AM station, or (b) a 25-mile radius from the AM transmitter site.
Grants of Special Temporary Authority that allowed AM stations to rebroadcast on FM translators during the pendency of the proceeding will be dismissed on the effective date of the new rules. In order for an FM translator to continue to rebroadcast an AM station after the effective date, the licensee of the translator station must file a notification letter with the FCC specifying the AM station being rebroadcast on the FM translator. The effective date is the later of: (a) 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, or (b) announcement in the Federal Register of OMB approval.