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AM Radio Congressional Hearing to Take Place on June 6

Maddy Troy

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House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH) has expressed his hesitancy to support a mandate for AM radio in vehicles until car companies provide answers.

According to Inside Radio, Latta, along with three other members of Congress, will host a hearing on the issue titled “Listen Here: Why Americans Value AM Radio” on June 6. Latta stated that he will make a decision on supporting the AM for Every Vehicle Act after hearing testimony from carmakers during the hearing. The hearing is intended to be educational, but the possibility of legislation remains.

While Latta appreciated Ford’s decision to reverse its initial plan to exclude AM receivers from its vehicles, he emphasizes the need to hear from other carmakers.“It is my hope that announcing this educational hearing will show the important role AM radio stations have played for decades,” Latta said when first announcing the hearing.

Latta, along with Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN) and 100 bipartisan House colleagues, sent letters to various automakers urging them to maintain AM radio in all their vehicles. Latta mentioned that many other Republican lawmakers will wait until after the hearings to decide on supporting the bill, as they want to ensure all facts are considered.

Some lawmakers have made their stance clear on the issue. Rep. Steve Alford (R-KS) called Ford’s reversal a “first big win” in Congress and called for other automakers to follow suit. Alford emphasized the importance of preserving AM radio and highlighted the impact of public pressure.

Automakers have cited electromagnetic interference as the reason for removing AM radio from their electric vehicles. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) suggests that alternative options such as FM radio, internet streaming services, improved rural broadband, and text alerts can compensate for the loss of AM radio access.

Latta argues that lawmakers need a comprehensive understanding of the interference claims and should consider the benefits of AM radio transmission. He raises concerns about the loss of emergency broadcast capabilities if the internet were to go down, emphasizing the redundancy provided by AM radio. Latta points to past events where wireless connectivity was limited, and broadcast radio played a crucial role in disseminating essential information.

Ben Downs, owner/GM of Bryan Broadcasting, questions the need to remove AM from dashboards, stating that the argument of noise interference is unclear since the FCC has strict limits on external broadcast interference. He also believes that technical issues are not a valid reason, as existing Ford EVs and hybrids have coexisted with AM radios for years.

Opponents of the AM for Every Vehicle Act, including the CTA, predict its failure, drawing parallels to previous attempts to mandate FM radio chips in cellphones. David Donovan, President of the New York State Broadcasters Association, views it as a public safety issue and believes broadcasters have enough support in Congress to pass the bill.

On the other hand, media broker and station owner Larry Patrick doubts Congress will strongly support the legislation, noting that automakers operate internationally, and many countries have done away with AM.

The proposed legislation will go through the Communications and Technology Subcommittee chaired by Latta.

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Media Business

Curtis LeGeyt: NAB ‘Depend on AM’ Radio Campaign ‘Played Crucial Role’ in Support for Congressional Bill

“We are making significant progress, but our work is far from over.”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of Curtis LeGeyt
(Photo: Jay Mallin NAB)

The AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act continues to wait to be voted on by both houses of Congress. NAB President/CEO Curtis LeGeyt believes an initiative from the organization played a paramount role in garnering support for the legislation.

In a story authored by the executive for Radio Ink, he made the case that the “Depend on AM” campaign released by the organization was pivotal for Congressional support for the industry.

“The NAB’s Depend on AM campaign has played a crucial role in rallying this support. We’ve emphasized the importance of AM radio not just as a cultural, news and sports hub, but also as the resilient lifeline during emergencies, offering unmatched reach and reliability,” LeGeyt wrote. “This legislation ensures that AM radio remains accessible to all Americans, especially during public safety crises. We are making significant progress, but our work is far from over.”

Curtis LeGeyt claimed more than 250 members of the House of Representatives and 62 Senators have backed the bill that would require automakers to include AM radios in new and electric vehicle models or require manufacturers to inform customers the new model was not equipped with the band.

The NAB has been a vocal proponent of the bill’s passage, with LeGeyt testifying in front of Congress in support of the legislation.

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Media Business

Local News Becoming Less Prevalent on Radio, New RTDNA Study Shows

68.4% of locally-owned operations air local news updates, while 54.1% of non-locally owned outlets do the same.

Barrett News Media

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RTDNA logo

Local news has been a focal point for radio stations for decades. But that may be fading away, a new RTDNA study shows.

65% of commercial stations still air local news in 2024, down slightly from 66.2% in 2023. Non-commercial stations have dropped 12% points in the past two years, down to just 60.7% airing local news.

However, the disconnect appears to come from locally owned stations versus non-locally owned. 68.4% of locally-owned operations air local news updates, while 54.1% of non-locally owned outlets do the same.

Not only are there drops in the number of stations broadcasting local news, but the airtime those updates occupy has also shrunk, according to the RTDNA study.

“The biggest drop in average minutes came in large markets, suggesting that fewer all news or news/talk stations there filled out the Survey this year,” the study states. “Medium markets are down a bit; small markets dropped an average of over 20 minutes per weekday.”

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Media Business

YouTube Largest Podcast Discovery Platform By Wide Margin, Westwood One Study Shows

Not only is the Google-owned video platform the most used among podcast newcomers, but it also holds that distinction for heavy podcast consumers and longtime podcast listeners.

Barrett News Media

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A photo of the YouTube logo displayed on a phone

In the span of three years, YouTube has gone from the third most popular podcast discovery platform to the top spot, a Westwood One study suggests.

In a study of more than 600 weekly podcast listeners, 31% say YouTube is the most utilized podcast listening platform. 21% say they use Spotify most frequently, while 12% claimed Apple Podcasts was their go-to destination.

Not only is the Google-owned video platform the most used among podcast newcomers, but it also holds that distinction for heavy podcast consumers and longtime podcast listeners.

YouTube’s podcast listening profile is slightly more male-dominated and also younger than the typical Apple Podcasts audience, according to the results from Westwood One Audio Active Group.

Naturally, the majority of Apple and Spotify users utilize smartphones to access their favorite podcasts, while 38% of YouTube’s audience uses computers and televisions for their favorite shows.

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