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AM Radio’s Historic Day on Capitol Hill

May 10, 2024

Alex Siciliano

Growing support for AM radio culminated in a remarkable day May 1 on Capitol Hill. Broadcasters, as well as the millions of Americans who rely on AM radio, are working to educate members of Congress on AM radio’s public safety value and broad reach, and those efforts are coming together to secure the future of this important service.

During a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Innovation, Data and Commerce hearing titled “Preserving Americans’ Access to AM Radio,” Melody Spann-Cooper, chairwoman and CEO of Midway Broadcasting Corporation, highlighted AM’s critical role. “AM radio is important to communities across the country not only because it is a cultural, news and sports oasis that educates the public, but also because it is a resilient lifeline during public safety emergencies,” she told the committee. “No other communications medium has the reach or resiliency of AM radio. When the power goes out, radio stations can still be found on battery or crank radios, or in your car.”

Though AM radio provides this important lifeline to our nation’s Emergency Alert System, as well as serving 82 million Americans each month with news, sports and valued programming, some automakers have begun discontinuing AM radio from the dashboard. Congress is considering legislation – the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act – that would ensure Americans who depend on AM can continue to have access to this reliable communications medium.

Sens. Ed Markey (MA) and Ted Cruz (TX), who sponsored the legislation in the Senate, announced that more than 60 senators are now supporting the AM for Every Vehicle Act. There are 247 cosponsors of the bill in the House of Representatives.

This powerful support is the result of an outpouring of grassroots activism from across the country, including statements from 75 community, diversity and public safety groups. Learn more about the issue and add your voice to stand up for AM radio at Depend On AM Radio.

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