Fight to preserve AM radio is not over

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Fresh off a key visit with lawmakers and policymakers in Washington, D.C., the National Association of Farm Broadcasting says the fight to keep AM radio in new vehicles is not over.

The group held its Washington Watch event in early April, giving members the opportunity to hear from agriculture organizations, officials from USDA, and leadership of the House and Senate.

During the three-day event, members dispersed a fact sheet explaining the importance of AM radio in agriculture and rural communities and why automakers should keep it as an option in new vehicles. The information states despite well-known mitigation solutions, some automakers are removing the option from dashboards because electromagnetic interference causes static and limited coverage in electric vehicles.

In a letter to NAFB members on Thursday, president Joe Gill encouraged members to remain in education mode and continue sharing information about why the issue is so important. Gill also encouraged members to educate lawmakers with whom they already have relationships, as some are still unaware of what is happening.

NAFB will also create PSAs to advocate for keeping AM radio.

Gill said the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has been working on the issue for quite some time. In fact, 100,000 pieces of communication have already been delivered to Capitol Hill.

That includes a letter from the 2023 NAFB Board of Directors. Following the Washington Watch event, they sent the letter to House Agriculture Committee Chair Glenn “GT” Thompson. The letter states in part:

“We ask you help us convey to auto manufacturers the importance of AM broadcast radio to America’s farmers and Americans living in rural communities across the United States. Removing AM radio from vehicles will put into serious jeopardy an important lifeline and source of information to rural America, not just during times of emergency events but every single day.”

Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) is currently penning legislation designed to keep AM radio in vehicles, but NAFB admits any mandate will have a difficult road to success.

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