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Hey, automakers, do not touch my AM radio!


May 27, 2023

I heard the news reports this week about the “fact”
 that automakers would be eliminating A.M. radio receivers from their new models.

My immediate reaction was “NO – NO – NO!!!”

The idea is that modern radio users would not want such “old” technology in their new vehicles.

But … SURPRISE! The reaction to the announcement was more than the auto manufacturers anticipated. Not only did the public say they wanted “old-fashioned radio” in their cars and trucks, they would insist on it.

Owners of radio stations, listeners and politicians, as well as first responders, all let their feelings be known: They would not accept the removal of AM radio from new vehicles.

The reaction to the proposal for the removal resulted in the introduction in the U.S. Senate, by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, of the AM For Every Vehicle Act. It mandates that every car manufacturer continue to include AM radios in new models, without an additional charge.

Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., said he applauds Ford for tuning into the concerns of listeners, broadcasters and emergency management officials who call for the retention of AM radios in vehicles.

He added that “AM radio is more than just an essential safety feature – it’s a free, accessible source of anyone to listen to music, news, sports and entertainment.”

He added, “Innovation in the automotive industry should mean more features, not fewer, for consumers,” saying that “Ford’s reversal reflects an overdue realization about the importance of AM radio, but too many automakers are still going in the wrong direction.”

On that, he is probably right. The news that Ford decided to include AM radio in new vehicles was met with general silence from other automakers.

A spokesman for Ford told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the news “there will be no additional costs for customers in their new vehicles was met with general silence from other automakers. That’s mainly because they have already decided that eliminating AM radio is the direction for them to go.”

Those automakers may be in for a rude surprise.

Just do a search on the internet of people who use AM radio and find out what they think. Overall, they like it and want it, and do not want it removed from their vehicle choices.

A Pew Research Center Survey last fall found that for nearly 50% of American adults, the amount of time they spend listening to AM has increased to nearly two hours a day.

WABC Radio did a study of radio listeners and decided that the removal of AM radio from vehicles would be “not only un-American – it’s just dumb.”

One of the reasons given for the removal of AM radios from vehicles is that the AM wavelength interferes with the EV wavelength.

Supposedly, this interference disrupts reception of signals and cause static, noise and high-frequency hum.

Is there anyone out there who believes that this “problem” is not something that could be dealt with easily with modern technology? 
 I didn’t think so.

AM radio is an important part of our emergency-alert infrastructure and, as some have said, it is an important part of American history.

According to John Catsimatidis, the CEO of WABC-Radio, “Americans deserve AM radio. We deserve better. By considering removing AM radio from cars, the automotive industry is putting the safety of Americans in peril by putting profits before people.”

He says, “Americans deserve better. Americans deserve AM radio.”

I agree with him!

Follow Barbara Simpson on Facebook.

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