Radio gaga: Mix 106 FM, which features DJs such as Shelly Honson, could see its sister stations 1450 AM Gold and 1280 Bible Broadcasting Network switch to the FM band. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Radio gaga: Mix 106 FM, which features DJs such as Shelly Honson, could see its sister stations 1450 AM Gold and 1280 Bible Broadcasting Network switch to the FM band. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
DeFontes Broadcasting is considering moving its AM stations to FM.

The company already has Mix 106 on the band but could transfer 1450AM Gold and the Bible Broadcasting Network from 1280 AM.

DeFontes also owns 1160 AM, which plays the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Owner Kenneth DeFontes said nothing was set in stone and the stations could end up staying on the AM band — but he admitted there are several good reasons to make the switch to FM.

Transformer

He added: “We’re exploring our options.

“We had a transformer go bad a couple of years ago so we have decided to dump it and get rid of it because it’s 28 years old. It’s hard to get parts for it.

“I’m looking into getting a new transformer and then looking at 1450 and 1280 going to FM but there isn’t any firm date or firm decision that we will do so.

“I’m not sure what will happen to 1160.”

Mr. DeFontes said a transmission difference between AM and FM is that “FM is broadcast from the middle of the island, whereas AM is broadcast out at the ends of the island”. He added that AM is more susceptible to interference from other devices.

Mr. DeFontes also said the main reason for examining the possibility of going FM is because “people want FM and the sponsors seem to want FM”.

He added: “The bottom line is that FM is a clearer, cleaner signal.

“There are still a lot of AM stations in North America but a lot of it is talk radio.

“How fast we are going to move on this, I can’t say.”

Mr. DeFontes does not foresee a problem with getting the switch approved by the Telecommunications Commission because his company had already been assigned additional FM frequencies it is not using.

If the move goes ahead, it would leave just three stations on the AM band — 1160 and Bermuda Broadcasting’s 1230 and 1340 — and nine on FM.

The FM band will get more crowded with DeFontes’s three stations  — Mix 106.1, Gold and BBN — Bermuda Broadcasting’s stations — 89.1, Power 95 — Inter-Island Communications’ stations —Magic 102.7 and HOTT 107.5 — KJAZ 98.1 and Collie Buddz’s new station VIBE 103.