Lawmakers Send Letters to Automakers Over AM Removals
|RADIO ONLINE | Monday, May 15, 2023|
Reps. Bob Latta (OH-5), Greg Pence (IN-6) and 100 of their bipartisan House colleagues sent individual letters Monday to Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, Mazda, Volvo, Tesla, Polestar, Rivian, GM and Mercedes-Benz urging them to maintain AM radio in all vehicles. Previously, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) wrote to a wider set of automakers and Monday's letters are addressed to those that either responded that they would be removing AM or that didn't answer whether they intend to keep AM in their newer model cars.
The letter from the lawmakers also poses a series of question to the manufacturers regarding their actions on AM removal and to "provide the details and the value of all federal loans, grants and tax incentives your company has received in the last 15 years."
The letter also reads, in part:
"In the case of natural disasters -- tornadoes, floods, wildfires and other local emergencies -- AM radio is a lifeline. It provides early warning, up-to-the minute local information needed to survive when these disasters strike, and ongoing, lifesaving information in their aftermath when the danger is often the greatest.
"According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), over 75 radio stations, most of which operate on the AM band and cover at least 90% of the U.S. population, are equipped with backup communications equipment and generators that allow them to continue broadcasting information to the public during and after an emergency. Most importantly, radio is free to all Americans, not requiring a subscription or a broadband connection."
In response to the letters sent to the automakers, NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt said in a statement, "NAB thanks Reps. Bob Latta (OH-5), Greg Pence (IN-6) and the 100 bipartisan signatories to this letter who are fighting to keep AM radio in cars. These legislators understand the critical role that AM radio plays in disseminating vital information to the public, particularly in times of emergency. Tens of millions of Americans listen to AM radio each month for its local and diverse content and we applaud these lawmakers for their commitment to their constituents who depend on AM."
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