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The Federal Communications Commission is considering a petition asking it to set a national standard for stereo AM radio broadcasting equipment, a move that supporters hope will help struggling stations survive. Although the FCC authorized AM stereo in 1982, only about 525 of the nation's nearly 4,900 AM stations are broadcasting in stereo, according to the officials of companies making competing AM stereo systems. Broadcasters, they say, are cautious about entering the stereo market because they're unsure which of the competing transmission systems to buy.

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