YORK, Pa. — Radio experts are advocating for the preservation of AM Radio, as some car manufacturers are phasing out the technology in newer model vehicles.
Electric vehicle makers like Tesla say they won’t put AM radios in their cars, arguing the vehicle systems interfere with AM signals.
“I think it’s a mistake, but I’m not surprised that it’s happening," said Jeffery Schiffman.
Schiffman is a radio production professor at York College and spent many years working at AM radio stations. He says AM radio has fewer listeners in 2023, as younger audiences tune it out.
“If you look at the demographics at the car companies that are saying they are going to take it away, their demographics tend to be much younger," said Schiffman.
Local stores like Megatronix in Manchester, York County, provide audio systems to listen to music, sports, and news in the car. However, people are shifting away from AM and FM radio, and moving towards Bluetooth.
“They might stream their Spotify from their car," said Schiffman. "So, if you can stream Spotify from your car, why can’t you stream your AM radio station.”
Schiffman says the broader shift away from AM radio could impact rural communities, since AM signals travel farther.
“If you lose power, a battery-powered transistor radio is going to pick up AM and FM signals," said Schiffman. "But if you’re far away from an FM signal in a rural area, you may pick up the AM signal better.”
Schiffman says more AM stations are looking to adapt to broadcast on multiple signals.
“A lot of them have said, ‘look here is the future, we know where it’s going. Let’s find an FM signal, buy that signal, and broadcast in both FM and AM,'" said Schiffman.