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Classes of Stations

AM and FM radio stations are divided into different domestic classes by the FCC. The class of a station is primarily determined by its transmitting power, but there are other factors as well.

FM Classes

FM radio stations in each class are limited in their maximum power and in the maximum allowed height of their antennas.

Class Max Power Max Height
A 6000 watts 328 feet
B1 25,000 watts 328 feet
B 50,000 watts 492 feet
C3 25,000 watts 328 feet
C2 50,000 watts 492 feet
C1 100,000 watts 981 feet
C0 100,000 watts 1476 feet
C 100,000 watts 1969 feet

Please see the FCC's website for more information about FM Station Classes.

AM Classes

AM radio stations in each class are limited in their minimum and maximum allowed power. Some classes of stations can only transmit on certain frequencies. Also some classes of stations are only allowed to broadcast in certain parts of the country. Class D stations may not operate with more that 250 watts at night and some class D stations only transmit during the day.

Class Min Power Max Power
A 10,000 watts 50,000 watts
B 250 watts 50,000 watts
C 250 watts 1000 watts
D 250 watts 50,000 watts

Please note that there are a number of exceptions to the information listed above. Please see the FCC's website for full details about AM Station Classes.


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