On Tuesday, May 23 Ford Motor Company announced, via a tweet from CEO Jim Farley, that it had reversed its previous decision to eliminate AM radio from all vehicles starting in 2024.
The news was unanimously praised from the radio industry, which has coalesced together in recent months to head off the trend of automakers removing AM from electric vehicles.
The New Jersey Broadcasters Association has been heavily involved in the industry effort to save AM radio from vehicles, starting with our visit with Rep. Josh Gottheimer in March of this year. Rep. Gottheimer, a former FCC staffer with knowledge of the country's National Public Warning System, immediately took action, writing a letter to automakers and holding a press conference outside a Tesla dealership in Paramus. Gottheimer would later become the lead sponsor of the House version of the "AM for Every Vehicle Act" along with NJ Reps. Tom Kean, Jr. and Rob Menendez. Senator Bob Menendez is an original co-sponsor of the Senate version of the bill.
While the decision by Ford to keep AM in their vehicles through at least 2024 is a major win for radio, we caution our members, particularly our AM members, not to be complacent. Broadcasters must continue to provide local content not available anywhere else to maintain their position in the automotive dashboard. Our ability to provide news, weather, and emergency information is critical to our future in America's autos.
Read more about Ford's decision:
Radio Ink story on Ford's decision
Inside Radio story with multiple industry players
Inside Radio interview with NAB President/CEO Curtis LeGeyt
Jacobs Media: "The Day Ford Blinked"