WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announced today 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 all radio stations to participate in reminding listeners what makes AM radio unique.
This 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, Americans depend on AM radio to disseminate timely, urgent information.
Recently, seven former 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 leading the charge to stop AM’s removal from cars by engaging with both auto manufacturers and relevant federal agencies. Sen. Ed Markey (MA) 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. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) announced a series of steps he is taking to ensure all cars have AM radio. FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington has 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.”
Visit DependonAM.com for more information.
NAB has long been focused on ensuring the connected car of the future includes easily accessible AM/FM radio, while supporting innovations to enhance the presence, appearance and overall position of radio in the connected car. Over five years ago NAB formed its Auto Committee, working to raise the visibility of the critical importance of AM radio in all vehicles. In 2021, NAB and other partners conducted a worldwide survey on the importance of radio in the car and found eight in ten prospective car buyers would be less likely to purchase a car if it did not have an AM/FM Radio tuner. NAB has continually engaged with its counterparts in the auto industry, and with government stakeholders such as FEMA, to shine a light on automakers removing AM radio from cars and the risk that poses to public safety.
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.