A reprieve, of sorts, for AM radio.

Congress is pushing back against automakers as some of them are dumping AM radio, including Tesla, BMW, and up until last week, Ford. The Ford Motor Company reversed course and announced that all 2024 Ford and Lincoln models would have AM radio. Days before that announcement, Fourth District U.S. Representative Mark Alford, R-Missouri, spoke out in defense of AM radio on the U.S. House floor.

“AM radio is the lifeblood of information for our farmers and ranchers in particular, providing crucial updates on weather patterns, market shifts, agricultural news,” he said. “It’s also a vital platform for emergency information.”

He talked about it afterward with KCMO’s Chris Stigall.

“That hurts our farmers, that hurts our ranchers, that hurts people out in the rural area, and people who just love good old conservative talk radio to begin with. Why are they doing that?” He asked. “So we got them, I guess, to move off the needle a little bit. They’re going to preserve it in the ‘24 model, and let’s keep the pressure up.”

In his announcement, Ford CEO Jim Farley also said they would offer a software update for Ford’s electric vehicles that don’t have AM radio capability.

And you can add U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, to the number of elected officials calling on auto makers to keep AM radios in newly-built vehicles.

“Whether we’re talking about talk radio or whether we’re talking about farm channels or the emergency broadcast system that…can be more readily available,” Hawley said. “The signals are different — AM and FM — but in some places AM, particularly in rural areas, is more readily available than FM.”

Meanwhile, there’s a bill in the U.S. Senate that would require the U.S. Transportation secretary to issue a rule requiring access to AM radio stations in all motor vehicles in the nation.

Copyright 2023, Missourinet.