New Jersey Broadcasters Association (NJBA) Executive Director Jordan Walton joined U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) for a press conference across from a Tesla dealership in Paramus, NJ Tuesday as Gottheimer passionately called for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers to keep the AM radio band in their vehicles.
Eight EV manufacturers recently indicated that they are not currently offering AM in their vehicles or have plans to eliminate the band in their cars due to “interference” issues with the AM signal. Congressman Gottheimer pointed to earlier Tesla models, along with EVs from other manufacturers, that have very good AM reception saying, “if Elon Musk has enough money to buy Twitter and send rockets to space, he can afford to include AM radio in his Teslas.”
Rep. Gottheimer applauded the increased interest and purchases of EVs, praising their positive impact on the environment but cited AM radio’s unique combination of ubiquity, large coverage area, and history of providing timely news and emergency information as the chief reason every vehicle sold in the United States should carry AM radio.
Before his election to Congress, Gottheimer served as Senior Counselor to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and has worked closely in developing the latest iteration of the emergency alert system.
The Congressman announced he will be sending a letter to EV manufacturers urging them to reconsider eliminating AM radio in their vehicles. He will also call on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, responsible for keeping people safe on America’s roadways, to add AM radio to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, much like they require seatbelts, airbags, and other minimum safety standards.
In opening remarks, Walton thanked the Congressman for advocating for New Jersey’s 39 licensed AM stations, which provide a mix of music, news, talk, sports, and entertainment in English, Spanish, Hindi, and many other languages. Walton said, “there are plenty of business and economic reasons to preserve AM radio, but public safety, using the publicly owned airwaves our stations have been lucky enough to license for 100 years, is the best reason.
The New Jersey Broadcasters Association made the issue of AM receivers being eliminated in EVs its top priority when the association called on members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation in Washington, DC earlier this month. The NJBA will continue to work with Rep. Gottheimer and other members of Congress helping to lead the charge to save AM radio.
About the NJBA
The New Jersey Broadcasters Association is one of 50 trade organizations representing radio and television broadcasters across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The NJBA helps to advance radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory, and public affairs, so New Jersey broadcasters can better serve the communities in which they broadcast. Learn more at www.njba.com.