AM Radio

Sunday afternoon I spent five hours driving from Carpenter to Minneapolis, trying to find a radio station that would update me on the NFL scores. Naturally I tuned into AM radio, and while I was in South Dakota I was able to tune into ESPN Radio fairly clearly. But as soon as I hit Minnesota, I lost all signal.

For the next two or three hours, I continuously scanned through the AM dial, searching for a station with a football game or postgame show or even a news station that occasionally read the scores, but to no avail. I was able, however, to find two polka stations, at least five country stations, some sort of Money Talk station that I assume was a scam, several religious stations, a weather station, a rock station, and a station that wasn’t in English, Spanish, French, or any other language I recognized even a little. But no football stations on a Sunday?

As we got a little closer to Minneapolis, I was able to tune in WCCO. I never realized it before but that station is about 65% advertisements. KSTP eventually started to come in a little, and they were talking Minnesota sports, but the guy spent over an hour trying to crunch the numbers to justify a Vikings stadium… never gave me a score update.

As we approached Glencoe, which is just 29 miles from the outskirts of the metro area, I started to receive three very unusual radio stations between 670 and 780 AM, all football! One was The Score out of Chicago. One was a Denver station with the Broncos-Chiefs game. And one was from Cincinnati with the Bengals pregame. However, I still couldn’t tune in 1130 KFAN from right in the Twin Cities!

Finally, after getting all the way past the office in Chanhassen, KFAN started to tune in and I heard the Cowboys beat the Eagles, giving the Vikings a first-round bye.

This experience left me dissatisfied with my AM radio experience, and begged the following questions.

  • Why do AM stations play music? The sound quality is terrible. That’s what FM is for!
  • Why did we get stations from Denver, Cincinnati, and Chicago but not Minneapolis?
  • Why does 570 WNAX out of Yankton never stop tuning in no matter where I go?
  • How much longer until AM radio is done away with? It remind me of black-and-white TV.

There’s my first rant for 2010. What do you think?


  1. XM/Sirius was darling for those Sunday football day drives.

    I laid in bed as a depressed 16 year old back during Super Bowl XXXIII listening to 850 KOA out of Denver, pretending that the Vikings were the team that just won the big game.

    Anyways….I have heard KOA while driving in Los Angeles, and I have heard KOA while driving through Minnesota. They have a pretty impressive signal.

  2. I thought KWAT out of Watertown carried the games. They are at 950 AM, but maybe you couldn’t get them much past Watertown. It sounds like your new tires did their job and got you home safely. We found a whole bunch of your stuff you left behind, but have already sold it on Ebay. Sorry…

  3. My thought was that they will always keep AM around because of the impressive signal strength. For disasters or the zombie apocalypse.

  4. They have sweet spanish channels on AM radio. Spanish radio music is awsome! You can hear horns, them yelling cha cha, shooting their revolvers, and rolling their letters while singing. Now that is some sweet music!

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