Radio is STILL fighting to stay in your Dashboard!

todayAugust 23, 2023 26 6 5

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The Radio industry, particularly “AM” radio (which WION really IS)….still has it’s battles with the bigwigs at the big auto manufacturers.

We’ve been in your dashboard for YEARS….for baseball games,top 40 hits, weather related announcements, talk-radio company, and the “local” flavor of many towns as you travel or visit.

There’s absolutely no reason NOT to be included in new vehicles, be they electric or hybrid, or gasoline powered.  The excuse of the “new” cars causing interference is a lie, as some hybrids have continued to have them since their inception.  Ford Motor Company which was under fire recently for AM’s removal agreed to “install” AM with an over the air update of software, meaning it’s THERE…just hidden….

Well, the battle is not over.  The first vote by those on the “AM for Every Vehicle Act”
was introduced to help protect the availability of AM radio to you, the consumer buying a new car.  The first step of the procedure PASSED with all but one vote….that one “No” vote coming from our own Michigan Senator Gary Peters.   WION has reached out multiple times through his office website but has not had any response to our questioning the reason for a vote AGAINST AM radio, given that he used WION (and we’re sure OTHER AM stations) to help him win election in the last cycle.  We at WION believe we are owed, at least, an explanation of the “no” vote, given this issue is not one that divides a nation, will hurt anyone physically, and won’t risk anyone’s health!  It’s a simple nod in the direction of local broadcasters!

According to the online publication Radio Ink  the battle continues…and is based in the automakers’ “partnerships” with subscription services. In our words, “kickbacks” or, if you want a kinder word for it, “commissions” on services subscribed in a vehicle.  The (auto) manufacturers say, “if you want your favorite AM station, just stream it”…but…this increases broadcasters’ expenses as the music industry is not kind to us, and charges per listener per song, per hour on music.  On top of that there’s limits in some cases on the hours we can provide, the cost of bandwidth, and other incidental expenses all needed to make the option of STREAMING available to you, our listeners.  In other words, the Auto industry wants to be the deciding factor in expenses to us, and options to YOU.  This just isn’t right nor is it fair to hard working broadcasters!

We’ll continue asking the Michigan Senator why he voted “no” on retaining AM radio reception in automobiles, (though the first vote did pass on this issue…it’s the “idea” of his being the only “no” that bothers us)….and we hope you’ll let your voice be heard to our (Michigan) Federal representatives, and…even our STATE reps so they are kept in the loop.  After all, have you ever met a politician that didn’t want to have access to FREE MEDIA?

Written by: Jim Carlyle

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