Originally Posted by DrDon
I'd also question the bit about WJR being able to operate for just a few hours overnight. Now, I'm probably wrong, but I thought EAS "primary" stations had to remain up at all times. Though I guess they could voluntarily give up that designation.
I've worked for two Primary stations.. one of which got a full underground studio and transmitter facility with enough diesel capacity to keep the 5K AM and 50K FM on the air 24/7 for three weeks. All paid for by the government. Never visited the transmitter site for the other one, but I heard it was pretty elaborate and partially taxpayer-funded, too.
Good call, Doctor, I believe you are right. I guess I chose the wrong example of an unlimited time station, as the whole EAS program was not in my mind at the time.
I don't know how many hours an AM station needs to operate, it is buried in the rules, but I do know it is a very small fraction of the 168 hours per week most unlimited time stations actually operate. If I recall correctly, it is stated not in hours per day, but in hours per week or per month.
The current requirements are probably unchanged since the 1920's, when some stations basically did farm reports in the mornings and carried some entertainment in the evenings, being off-the-air more than half the time.