Editorial: Bill to Keep AM Radio in Cars Nearing Threshold To Pass Filibuster

By Benjamin Cox on April 17, 2024 at 10:26am

Dear Readers & Listeners,

A bill that is important to us here at WLDS/WEAI has reached a crucial milestone in Congress this past week. Inside Radio reports that HR 3413 or the “AM For Every Vehicle Act” is about to cross the 60-cosponsorship threshold in the Senate, which would give it a supermajority and allow it to overcome a filibuster. Radio advocates across the country have been fiercely pushing for this legislation to keep AM Radio in all cars moving forward. The 60 cosponsors number won’t be official until it is documented with the Senate clerk, which could happen within the next couple of weeks.

If passed, the bill would require automakers to keep AM radio in their vehicle dashboards or include a warning label if they don’t. It already has well over a majority of House members who have said they will support it. No votes have been taken in the House yet, but the Energy and Commerce Committee will hold its second hearing on the resolution on April 30th.

Over a year ago several automakers said they were going to remove AM Radio from their dashes – primarily electric and hybrid models – due to the problems with signals. Automakers have argued that it would have incur extra costs to ensure proper shielding of their dash to make sure that AM frequency reception could still happen.

The current resolution has brought about a wide swath of bipartisan support all across the country – as you listeners have called your lawmakers telling them about the vital source of news and information that AM radio provides.

AM1180 has been on the air in Jacksonville since December 9, 1941 – just two days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The idea of radio in Jacksonville began with AM1180 due to Hobart Stephenson, who was an instructor at the Illinois School for the Blind and two local businessmen Milton Edge and E.J. “Pete” Korsmeyer, who formed the early ownership of our station. The years of continuous service of WLDS rank it among the top five percent of all radio stations in the U.S., in terms of length of service to its local community. We would like to continue that tradition for years to come.

If you have not reached out to your federally elected officials yet, we urge you to do so and get behind this bill. Thank you for over 80 years of support to our station.


AM 1180 WLDS/ 107.1FM WEAI