Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(58,679 posts)
Sun Jan 28, 2024, 07:44 PM Jan 2024

Car Industry Seeks to Crush AM Radio; Congress May Rescue It

Car Industry Seeks to Crush AM Radio; Congress May Rescue It

Conservative talk show hosts, FEMA are fighting carmakers, tech industries in lobbying battle over drive-time radio

{snip picture}

Radio in a vintage car. GETTY IMAGES

By Julie BykowiczFollow
and Ted MannFollow
Jan. 28, 2024 5:30 am ET

WASHINGTON—A motley crew of AM radio advocates, including conservative talk show hosts like Hugh Hewitt and federal emergency officials, are lobbying Congress to stop carmakers from dropping the old medium from new vehicles. … Tesla, Volvo, and BMW are among the companies that have already stopped providing AM tuners in some models. Last year Ford said it would join them—until CEO Jim Farley reversed course “after speaking with policy leaders.”

Lawmakers say most car companies are noncommittal about the future of AM tuners in vehicles, so they want to require them by law to keep making cars with free AM radio. Supporters argue it is a critical piece of the emergency communication network, while the automakers say Americans have plenty of other ways, including their phones, to receive alerts and information.

The legislation has united lawmakers who ordinarily want nothing to do with one another. Sens. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Ed Markey (D., Mass.) are leading the Senate effort, and on the House side, Speaker Mike Johnson—himself a former conservative talk radio host in Louisiana—and progressive “squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan are among about 200 co-sponsors.

“I would challenge anyone to find any issue where Bernie Sanders and heavy hitters on the right are co-sponsors. It doesn’t exist,” said Curtis LeGeyt, president of the National Association of Broadcasters.

14 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies


(55,038 posts)
3. Come on, car manufacturers, what could it cost to include AM radio in cars, something done for over a century?
Sun Jan 28, 2024, 07:55 PM
Jan 2024

What could they possibly be saving, a few cents per unit?

And there's the safety issue as there are millions of cars, older and many newer, that'll be on the road for years possibly tuned in to AM when there is a national, regional or local emergency.


(58,679 posts)
9. Not in the form of broadband and switching power supplies.
Sun Jan 28, 2024, 08:04 PM
Jan 2024

Last edited Sun Jan 28, 2024, 08:44 PM - Edit history (1)

Automotive engine management systems have only been around to any extent since the mid-80s.


(58,679 posts)
13. What's changing?
Sun Jan 28, 2024, 09:25 PM
Jan 2024
In a Future Filled With Electric Cars, AM Radio May Be Left Behind

Carmakers say electromagnetic interference causes static and noise on AM transmissions, annoying customers.

Broadcasters say they could lose a connection to their core listeners, who rely on the radio for emergencies.

Carmakers say that electric vehicles generate electromagnetic interference, causing static, noise and a high-frequency hum. Roger Kisby for The New York Times

By Michael Levenson
Dec. 10, 2022

For nearly 100 years, drivers have been listening to AM radio, an American institution crackling with news, traffic, weather, sports and an eclectic variety of other programs.

But that dashboard staple could be going the way of manual-crank windows and car ashtrays as electric vehicles begin to grab more of the American marketplace.



(58,679 posts)
6. Only in part. I fall asleep listening to AM radio every night.
Sun Jan 28, 2024, 07:58 PM
Jan 2024

Last edited Sun Jan 28, 2024, 08:42 PM - Edit history (1)

Cell phones would be better for emergency purposes.

A 1kW AM station can reach 100,000 people. How many people can a cellphone reach?

🙈 A.M. is the voice of the Right Wing

Here’s how I solve that issue. My radios are kind of old, so this might not work for you.

Most of my radios have a tuning knob. I’ve found that by rotating the tuning knob, I can tune the radio up and down the dial. If there’s a station I don’t like, I don’t listen to it. I keep tuning until I find a station I do like. That’s the station I listen to.

Other people might listen to stations I don’t like, but that’s their choice.

Think. Again.

(11,562 posts)
12. That's a really bad argument...
Sun Jan 28, 2024, 08:31 PM
Jan 2024

Both AM radios and cell phones can only reach the people that have them.

I suspect more people are carrying around a cell phone than are carrying around an AM radio.

OAITW r.2.0

(25,579 posts)
8. Why is this a legal thing? A broadcast band that's antiquated....why should the Government care? Hell. FM is probably
Sun Jan 28, 2024, 08:00 PM
Jan 2024

Is next. Probably the future is streaming music/podcasts from your phone.

Think. Again.

(11,562 posts)
11. Thank you...
Sun Jan 28, 2024, 08:28 PM
Jan 2024

I was about to write that I don't think this rises to a level of national importance that federal legislation should waste time and funds on it.

Should we legislate that bud vases in cars must be brought back next?


(13,917 posts)
14. Yet more socialism for the owning class.
Mon Jan 29, 2024, 11:11 AM
Jan 2024

This is yet another example of the rich and powerful using government regulation to increase their wealth and power.

Latest Discussions»Culture Forums»Automobile Enthusiasts»Car Industry Seeks to Cru...