I may be biased on this article since I host a show on one of Montana's most prominent AM radio signals, but the question remains, is AM radio still relevant?

There has been a recent push by vehicle manufacturers to eliminate AM radios from new vehicles.

I've heard numerous explanations as to why this is.

Some believe that AM isn't relevant anymore, and others chalk it up to AM signals interfering with the electronics in new electric vehicles.

One way or another, if vehicle manufacturers aren't required to install AM radios in the future, there's a strong possibility that they won't.

The issue of AM radios in vehicles has caught the attention of numerous lawmakers throughout the United States and even a few here at home.

A bill introduced by Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts would require the Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue a rule that requires all new motor vehicles to have devices that can access AM broadcast stations installed as standard equipment.

Senator Steve Dains and Senator Jon Tester have signed on as cosponsors of the bill.

There are a total of 27 Senators listed as cosponsors of the bill.

The bill recently passed through the Senate Commerce Committee, setting it up for a full vote on the Senate floor.

According to a press release from Senator Jon Tester this bill will also...

  • Direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue a rule that requires automakers to maintain AM broadcast radio in their vehicles without a separate or additional payment, fee, or surcharge.
  • Require any automaker that sells vehicles without access to AM broadcast radio before the effective date of the NHTSA rule to disclose to consumers that the vehicle lacks access to AM broadcast radio.
  • Direct the Government Accountability Office to study whether alternative communication systems could fully replicate the reach and effectiveness of AM broadcast radio for alerting the public to emergencies.

In my humble opinion, AM radio is just as relevant as it's always been.

Sure, folks are turning to digital internet-run products all the time.

However, AM radio is the only broadcast source readily available to nearly everyone and has the power to cover even the most remote areas of rural Montana.  

Need a good laugh?

Cat Crashes Though Ceiling In Radio Station

See the evidence found by cameras and in the lobby. Do you think it's a cat?

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