The Impact of Removing AM Radio from Cars: What it Means for Jacksonville’s Local Radio Stations and Their Listeners

A recent article in The Hill about removing AM radios from cars got Eye’s attention. You can read it here for yourself.

The automotive industry’s decision to eliminate the AM radio option from new car models is causing concern among fans of local radio stations in North Florida. As car manufacturers shift their focus towards electric vehicles (EVs) and cite electromagnetic interference as the main reason for removing AM radios, it is crucial to examine the potential consequences of this decision on the local AM radio landscape and the loyal listeners who rely on these stations for news, talk shows, sports, and more.

For many residents of Jacksonville, local AM radio stations serve as an important source of information and entertainment. These stations establish a sense of community and provide a platform for local voices, fostering engagement and discussion. Listeners tune in to stay informed about local news, traffic updates, weather alerts, and cultural events that are relevant to their daily lives. The removal of AM radios from cars threatens to sever this vital connection between radio stations and their dedicated listeners.

Jacksonville is home to a diverse range of local AM radio stations, each catering to different interests and offering unique programming. Here is a list of local AM stations:

These stations are an integral part of Jacksonville’s media landscape, providing an alternative to national syndicated programming and fostering a sense of local identity.

The removal of AM radio from cars poses a significant challenge to the survival and sustainability of local radio stations. With fewer people accessing AM radio through their cars, these stations could experience a decline in listenership and, consequently, a potential loss in advertising revenue. The impact would be particularly felt by smaller, independent stations that heavily rely on local advertising support. This could lead to a reduction in programming quality, limited resources for news gathering, and a loss of local jobs in the radio industry.

The decision to remove AM radio from cars could also have a profound impact on the listeners themselves. Many individuals, including seniors, commuters, and those in areas with limited internet connectivity, rely on AM radio as a primary source of news, talk shows, sports coverage, and emergency weather alerts. The longer wavelengths and greater range of AM radio waves allow for coverage in areas where FM radio or internet streaming may be inaccessible. Removing AM radios from vehicles could leave these individuals disconnected from valuable information and jeopardize their ability to stay informed and prepared. Congress is looking into this situation and you can read a press release here from Senator Ed Markey.

AM radio may seem insignificant but the ramifications of losing this service could be huge.

Rather than completely eliminating AM radio, car manufacturers should explore innovative solutions to address the electromagnetic interference issue. Collaborative efforts between the automotive industry, broadcasting associations, and regulatory bodies can lead to the development of effective technological advancements that allow for the coexistence of AM radio and electric vehicles. It is crucial for car manufacturers to understand the importance of AM radio to listeners and work towards preserving this essential medium in the face of advancing technology.

Billie Tucker Volpe

Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives.


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