Industry News

NASBA: AM Radio Vital Link for Millions

The National Association of State Broadcasters Associations reports the findings of a survey conducted during April that concludes that listeners of more than 4,000 U.S. radio stations “risk losing access to breaking news, weather alerts, farm reports, favorite music, and informative talk programs” as automakers consider removing AM radios from car dashboards. It goes on to say, “Even with ‘AM modernization’ efforts that have added FM translators for many AM stations, many stations do not have an FM counterpart and do not stream their community-focused signals over Internet connections.” NASBA president Dewey Bruce says, “Theim findings show what we expected – AM radio across America is a diverse mix of music and talk and a vital link for millions of listeners. The goal of our station survey was three-fold. First, we wanted to confirm AM radio’s diverse landscape of formats, languages, and ownership. Second, we wanted to quantify AM radio’s crucial part in the nation’s Emergency Alert System. And third, we wanted feedback that will guide our state association response going forward.” The NASBA survey also found that “more than half of AM stations do not currently have a standalone mobile app and 40% are not currently found on radio aggregators. For many AM operators working diligently to keep their over-the-air signal on the air, providing the local news, music, entertainment, and emergency information that their communities rely upon, the expense of streaming their station and paying additional royalties is simply not realistic. The most telling survey result is that 8 in 10 respondents listed their level of concern a 10 out of 10 when it comes to AM being eliminated in the car.”