You've probably heard that several prominent carmakers have decided to drop AM radio from some of their models. Most of the models without AM radios are EV's manufactured by BMW, Ford, Mazda, Polestar, Rivian, Tesla, Volkswagen, and Volvo.
Broadcast radio is still the most popular source of in-car entertainment, over 40% of all radio listening in done in....you guessed it....cars!
There are 4500 AM radio stations across the country, and more than 80 million Americans depend on it for vital information about their communities.
The removal of AM radio from these vehicles has crated a backlash from members of Congress, FEMA, the National Association of Broadcasters and others who say it's a vial part of life, ESPECIALLY in an emergency.
Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) has said:
“Despite innovations such as the smartphone and social media, AM/FM broadcast radio remains the most dependable, cost-free, and accessible communication mechanism for public officials to communicate with the public during times of emergency. As a result, any phaseout of broadcast AM radio could pose a significant communication problem during emergencies.”
According to the Wall St. Journal, seven former FEMA heads have sent a letter to Pete Buttigieg saying, in part:
“Because of the great distances that its signals carry, and due to its resiliency during even the worst natural disasters, the success of the national public warning system – the only method the government has to reach every point of the country at once – hinges on its use of AM radio. However, should EV makers continue removing AM radios from their vehicles, this vital public safety system will no longer function as intended.”
In an emergency, a text alert on your phone is not a substitute for what broadcast radio provides. It can not take the place of a voice on the radio providing you with vital news and information, wall-to-wall coverage with potential life saving information along with a personal connection to help you through times of need. And a text alert won't do you any good when cell service is disrupted or your phone is dead.
The NAB launched its Depend on AM Radio campaign to spotlight the importance of in-car AM radio to provide local news, traffic, public safety information, public service announcements and more.
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! Text the letters "AM" to 52886 and tell Congress to keep AM radio in all cars and trucks! (Standard message and data rates apply)