Broadcasters Tout AM and Tech On Capitol Hill


Broadcasters took the crusade to save AM directly to Capitol Hill yesterday in the first of two days dedicated to lobbying Congress. The day opened with “Radio’s Road To The Future,” a presentation partnership between the NAB, Jacobs Media, and others, aimed to shed light on the importance of AM radio in the digital age.

The event saw some of radio’s Congressional heroes address the group. Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) both shared insights into the recently introduced AM For Every Vehicle Act. Senator Fischer also mentioned her support of the Local Radio Freedom Act (LRFA). Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency were also on hand to underscore the critical role of AM radio in the National Public Warning System.

On that topic, a significant issue highlighted during the conference was the relationship between the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and AM. It was pointed out that AM radio’s continued presence in dashboards is essential for the efficiency and reliability of the EAS. Unlike cellular towers, which may have multiple points of failure, AM radio can serve as a dependable doorbell for delivering emergency alerts, making it a critical component of the national public warning system.

Fred Jacobs Panel DC
(L to R) Buston Media GM Patty Ruiz, NAFB President Tom Brand, NRB Communications Director Noelle Garnier, NABOB President James Winston, Jacobs Media founder Fred Jacobs

Gathered broadcasters also emphasized the potential consequences of removing AM radio from the dashboard, particularly for Hispanic, farm, religious, and Black-owned stations and groups. By removing AM radio, these communities could face significant challenges in reaching their target audiences and fulfilling their crucial roles in providing diverse programming and community connections.

In a statement on the day, NAB President Curtis LeGeyt said, “Broadcasters serve their communities with unmatched local news, information and entertainment, and policymakers in Washington have a role to play in ensuring consumers retain access to their favorite stations. We look forward to working with lawmakers on preserving and protecting a vibrant broadcasting industry.”

Radio Ink will continue coverage of Day 2 in tomorrow’s headlines.



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