Former FEMA Execs Push To Save AM Radio in EV’s


    Former FEMA Head Craig Fugate, who’s always been a proponent of local radio, has signed a letter, along with other former FEMA officials, asking the federal government for help making sure all automakers include AM radio in the Electric Vehicles.

    The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the letter Monday. In it Fugate says “When all else fails, radio stations are often the last line of communications that communities have.”

    Some automakers are dropping AM radio from their newer Electric vehicles because they say the vehicles generate electromagnetic frequencies on the same wavelength as AM radio signals, creating buzzing and signal fading from the interference.

    According to The Wall Street Journal, the letter sent to members of Congress included signatures from 7 former FEMA administrators. The letter was also sent to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

    The letter states that “AM radio serves as a linchpin of the infrastructure behind the federal National Public Warning System, which provides emergency-alert and warning information from FEMA to the public during natural disasters and extreme weather events.” They say spiking AM radio represents a grave threat to future disaster response efforts.

    The Journal article says 47 million people in America still listen to AM Radio, citing Nielsen statistics.


    1. Please do not ban AM radio in vehicles. It’s plays a significant role in my daily life.

      If the FCC wants to BAN something then prevent craig List from posting HATRED and Porn through the sections called “POLITICS” and “RANTS and RAVES”

    2. Why is there not a major push to give AM radio its “voice” back? Major corporate engineering execs convinced the FCC to roll off all of the high end fidelity of stations on the AM band so that the “digital mask” would fit into a tiny slice of spectrum. Why not admit that digital AM Digital AM just didn’t work. Is anybody transmitting a digital AM signal? I have never heard digital AM, have any of you? AM radio, with its once beautiful audio quality, now sounds worse than terrible—much akin to a telephone line of old.

      • If the government has to get involved and force car
        manufacturers to include AM radio… isn’t that government intervention? Something that many of us in radio who are conservatives, are against usually?

    3. FM will be next to go! AoIP over wireless data networks, think 5G from cellular providers, as the new “radio” as far as the FCC is concerned. And we know, during disasters, how reliable that’s proven to be. You better know some ham radio operators as they will be the few among us who will be able to maintain long distance communications in and out of the disaster area because they are holding fast onto legacy radio technology.

    4. It seems that we’re on our own in this regard. The FCC’s rules are meaningless unless enforced and with digital technology taking over, the Part 15 rules have been forgotten. The “AM revitalization program” is a joke and no one seems to be jumping out with viable solutions. It would take a disaster of massive proportion to get people to act, and we certainly hope that doesn’t happen. I can’t believe that ownership of these stations isn’t speaking out to protect their AM investments, but to see the lack of interest from most of the rule makers-is handing this legacy technology to a much less reliable digital system. It may be too late.

    5. Maybe its time for the FCC to start enforcing Part 15 of the rules. This would require the auto manufacturers to filter out the noise generated by electrical and electronic items in electric cars. AM radio has one big advantage over FM, especially since the FM band is being clogged with translators and pirate stations: AM stations can propagate over long distances at night. In the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo, people in the affected area received news and information from AM stations in distant cities when their local stations were knocked off the air by the hurricane.

    6. The FCC forced television manufacturers to include the UHF channels in 1959. The FCC needs to show leadership and force automakers to retain AM reception in their products. The FCC needs to put its foot down on excuses coming from automakers.


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