Campaign to save AM radio in US cars

Thursday, 20 April, 2023

Campaign to save AM radio in US cars

The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has announced a new campaign highlighting the importance of AM radio in the car for news, community engagement, entertainment and vital public safety information. The campaign includes a website with a grassroots call to action and new tools for stations to highlight the importance of AM radio. NAB is urging radio stations to participate by reminding listeners what makes AM radio unique.

The campaign is being launched as some automakers have stripped AM radio out of certain vehicle models. NAB’s ‘Depend on AM Radio’ campaign will share the dire implications of this decision and will amplify the voices of the more than 82 million Americans that AM radio reaches each month.

Public safety officials, policymakers, consumers and broadcasters alike have been sounding the alarm on the public safety consequences for removing AM radio from cars. As the backbone of the nation’s Emergency Alert system, many Americans depend on AM radio to disseminate timely, urgent information. Recently, seven former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrators sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stressing the public safety imperative of keeping AM radio in vehicles.

A growing number of policymakers in Washington are now leading the charge to stop AM’s removal from cars by engaging with both auto manufacturers and relevant federal agencies. Senator Ed Markey sent a letter to automakers urging the inclusion of AM radio in future models and sharing its critical function during dangerous weather events and natural disasters, while Rep Josh Gottheimer announced a series of steps he is taking to ensure all cars have AM radio. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Nathan Simington has meanwhile said that the Commission “should make clear the vital importance of AM radio”.

“With a monthly audience of 82 million Americans, AM radio is a cornerstone of everyday life for many that also serves a critical, life-saving function during extreme weather and natural disasters,” said NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt.

“Implementing cost-cutting measures at the expense of our nation’s emergency communications abilities is reckless and will have dire consequences for Americans that rely on AM radio in times of crisis. NAB’s ‘Depend on AM Radio’ campaign will elevate the voices of listeners who depend on AM radio and share opposition to removing the medium with automakers and members of Congress.”

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