Anti-Radio Rhetoric Discolors AM Testimony From CTA’s Shapiro


Consumer Technology Association President and CEO Gary Shapiro went beyond the auspices of his testimony to the US House Energy and Commerce Committee about the AM For Every Vehicle Act to attack AM/FM radio on every level during a hearing on April 30.

Shapiro opened with the CTA’s previously stated stance that consumer choice should dictate the technologies included in vehicles. He suggested that where there is consumer demand for AM radio, the market has and will continue to accommodate it without legislative mandates.

The head of the organization behind the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas expressed his belief that mandating AM radio in vehicles, particularly electric vehicles, could hinder innovation and increase costs, which he says could stifle advancements in other areas.

Moreover, Shapiro critiqued the broadcasting industry’s claims about AM radio’s role in emergency alerting as outdated. He cited a recent CTA study found that 95% of American adults received an emergency alert on their phone during the most recent nationwide EAS test, while only 1% heard it on AM radio. Of course, this was a test under optimal, non-emergency conditions.

Shapiro then moved on from AM to needlessly attack other aspects of radio, saying, “Now broadcasters have repeatedly pushed Congress for laws to preserve their struggling business model. First, it was a rather absurd attempt to mandate FM chips in mobile phones. Now broadcasters are using the same playbook for AM radio.”

In his conclusion, Gary Shapiro used his time to voice his support for performance fees for radio, as suggested by the American Music Fairness Act, which lies dead in the water for the legislative session.

“AM and FM radio use music to build their audience, allowing broadcasters to make billions in revenue from advertising while paying nothing to performers…Mandating AM radio would reward this and condone this unfair system, allowing the broadcast industry to reap profits at the expense of artists.”

Shapiro’s concerning testimony underlines the increasing divide between Big Tech and broadcasters large and small as competition for market share only grows.


  1. Next time Gary Shapiro is stuck in a natural disaster without cell coverage he can wet his finger and figure which direction the tornado is coming from. Long Live Radio!

  2. Keep it up, you anti-AM and other anti-radio types. I will never buy a new car and never an EV. Congress is too stupid to listen to consumers’ choices also. The Supreme Court always does things to make consumers pay more (i.e. the sales tax across state lines Wayfair decision)..


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