Ford Motor Company has announced that it has reconsidered removing AM radio from its new vehicles and will now include AM radio in all of its cars. This is a major victory for The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) and the AM radio industry.
Jim Winston, President and CEO of The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) said, “We are very pleased to hear that Ford has reversed its position and will now keep AM radio in all of its cars. AM radio is vital in Black communities around the country.”
Winston added, “It is important for the other car manufacturers that said they will eliminate AM radio from their electric vehicles to follow Ford’s example. We will continue to take our message about the importance of AM radio to those other manufacturers.”
Announced on Tuesday, The House Energy and Commerce Committee said that it plans to hold a hearing on the importance of AM radio installation in new cars in early June.
Inside Radio reports that the hearing is being labeled as “educational” but the threat of legislation hangs in the air. Earlier this month a bipartisan group of lawmakers in both the House and Senate proposed the AM for Every Vehicle Act that would require carmakers to maintain AM broadcast radio in new vehicles at no additional charge. For car models that have already dropped the feature, until it can be brought back, the law would mandate a warning label alerting buyers about what is missing to be slapped on the window at the dealer showroom.
The bill would also direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a rule that requires automakers to maintain AM broadcast radio in their vehicles without a separate or additional payment, fee, or surcharge. The Government Accountability Office would also be required to study whether alternative communication systems could fully replicate the reach and effectiveness of AM broadcast radio for alerting the public to emergencies.
Click HERE for further insight from Winston and for additional reactions from broadcast industry leaders.