For starters, I would like all of my listeners who haven’t already done so to download the WDBO App. More about that, and how we can help, at the end of this segment – so keep reading.
As you may have heard, several car manufacturers had recently made the decision to remove AM radios from their vehicles. Manufacturers claim that the electronics in their battery-operated vehicles can cause interference with the AM radio band, rendering the use of AM radio in these vehicles useless. Others say they are doing it just to cut costs. Maybe it’s one or the other, or both, but my point here is that it’s really nobody’s business except the car manufacturers and the consumers who purchase their vehicles.
I make that point because here comes the government doing its government thing – interfering with our freedom to choose, whether it’s the manufacturers or the consumers.
Manufacturers should have the freedom to manufacture what they want and what they think will sell – so long as it does not pose a danger to others.
Consumers should have the right to decide if buying a vehicle with or without an AM radio signal is what they want to do.
There are several large media organizations that, for one reason or another, want to hold onto this 100-year-old broadcast medium technology. One reason I will argue is the fact that millions of Americans still listen to AM radio. AM radio remains a broadcast force in our country and around the world.
In fact, according to a 2022 Jacobs Media Tech Survey, radio listening is trending down, and it’s the lowest among the younger generations, which is probably no surprise.
But, you may be thinking it’s because younger people tend to stream their broadcasts, as opposed to directly listening to the radio. While that is also true, it’s important to note that this survey included listening to AM radio stations on an AM radio OR a streaming device.
However, a February 2023 Pew Research survey shows that about eight-in-ten Americans ages 12 and older listen to terrestrial radio in a given week. That’s not streaming – it’s the actual radio.
The same survey shows that nearly half of adult Americans get their news from AM radio
So it’s definitely not all gloom and doom for the AM radio broadcasters and more about this and streaming in a few minutes.
But, now comes the part that’s really none of the government’s business – except the fact that they should probably be looking at alternative methods for their Emergency Broadcast System.
The AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act of 2023 bill is sponsored by Democratic Senator Ed Markey from Massachusetts and Republican Senator Ted Cruz from Texas. Bipartisan support.
So what about the emergency broadcast system and why is the government getting involved? Well, because they are the government. It’s what government often does. Mingling in the areas of freedom that should be left alone.
The government claims that its archaic emergency broadcast system is dependent upon AM radio to get emergency responses out. Well, that’s not entirely true, and quite frankly – that’s their problem. It’s not Ford’s issue or Tesla’s issue at all.
AM radio wasn’t invented for the government to hijack, but they did it anyway. We created an agency called the FCC whose very rules are often a slap in the face of freedom – but that’s another story entirely.
It’s not the car manufacturers’ responsibility to be forced to provide a medium for notification systems used by the government. Radio manufacturers were never asked if their devices would be allowed to be used by the government. The government just assumed it was something to be used. If it’s no longer a viable option then the government needs to figure out a different and more modern method.
In the 1920s (That’s right – a hundred years ago), when widespread AM radio broadcasting started nobody said let’s make this a thing so that the government can piggyback on top of it for emergency broadcasting purposes. The emergency broadcast system was developed for the US Government in 1963 and was forced on the broadcasters of AM Radio. While I am never in favor of the government forcing anything on anyone or any industry, it served a specific purpose because it was the easiest way.
But that’s not the case any longer and the government needs to wake up to that fact and stop meddling with the manufacturers and come up with more viable solutions if they still want Americans to be plugged into an emergency broadcast system.
Now, as you most likely know if you are listening to me now, Cox Media, the owners of WDBO broadcasts on AM580 and also FM107.3. If you are a listener of this radio station I am asking you to do something very simple.
Download the WDBO App. It has many features you may find helpful. For example, you can listen to live radio right on the app. You can also use the Open Mic feature to record yourself and send your audio to WDBO if you want to express an opinion or have something to say about something you are hearing or have heard on the radio. It’s an awesome feature you may not want to miss out on.
Once you download the WDBO app, you can listen to WDBO anywhere across the country and around the world if you have an internet signal. You can also connect it to your vehicle’s blue-tooth device so that what you are hearing comes through your car’s speaker system. One huge benefit of doing this is never having to worry about the fading out of the terrestrial signal on your car’s radio.
Now where do Refresh Computers come in? As a technology company, we understand that even though you hear things like – “It’s simple, just download the app”, it may not be that simple for a lot of people. That’s why we offer free assistance in our store in Longwood to help you download the App and explain to you how to use it. We will also show you how to connect it to your vehicle’s blue tooth so that you will always have access to it wherever you are driving around the nation. No charge.