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Letters: College Radio, AM in EVs and HD Mandates

Radio World readers have three "don’ts” in this issue

Here are more of the latest letters to the editor of Radio World. Submit your own at [email protected].

Don’t … Give Us a Mandate

In the article “Xperi Cautions Against One-Stop Approach to Receivers” the company is quoted as telling the FCC: “As more radio stations convert to digital operations, a minimum product requirement including digital radio capabilities for car and portable AM/FM will ensure continued efficient use of the AM/FM band and the services they provide.”

To which I say no! Stop! We don’t want or need another HDTV-style forced government conversion to radio receiver designs.

In our marvelous American capitalist economy, the all-seeing, all-knowing “invisible hand” of the marketplace should be allowed to determine radio receiver requirements. Consumers avoided purchase of IBOC-capable radios in droves. IBOC is a flop a la AM stereo decades ago. AM stations converting to digital are numerically miniscule. 

When American consumers demand digital AM, manufacturers will respond with gusto with new digital radios. No need for the heavy, dead hand of government to force radio design decisions. 

– James B. Potter

Kimberling City, Mo.


Don’t … Sell That License

Regarding Paul McLane’s editorial “Don’t Sell That License” in the Oct. 26 issue:

As a high school broadcasting teacher, I am lucky that our district owns and operates the student-run FM station WGBK 88.5 FM. License ownership is incredibly important when teaching young people the value of community service to the entire community. 

We cannot neglect that radio is the most inclusive electronic medium on the planet. Radios are inexpensive and easy to maintain. Radio service is free. Radio can reach many quickly. Radio does not care what you look like or whether you can read and write. Radio is the most consumed electronic medium on the planet. More people have radios than have cell phones, televisions or computers.

Senior station managers in the main studio of WGBK(FM) in Glenview, Ill. The radio program at Glenbrook South High School celebrated its 40th year on the air in 2022. From left: Charlie Bickel, Yemisi Olujare, Aziza Sayied and Matthew Poulton.

We live in an era when many of our youth in the United States are consumed by cell phones, social media, streaming services and “disposable” televisions. It is essential to remind them (and everyone, for that matter) that radio only appears obsolete when bathed in the light of an iPhone. 

Educational institutions need to do a better job of integrating radio into their overall curricula if we really want to teach young people about inclusivity, public service and the value of electronic communication.

– Daniel Oswald, Ph.D.

Faculty Advisor, WGBK(FM), Glenbrook South High School

Glenview, Ill.


Don’t … Ditch That Radio

Re “Why Are Some Automakers Ditching AM Radio”: I’d much rather have reliable AM radio in my gasoline-powered vehicle than I would an unreliable EV. The radio in my car stays on AM all day. The band should be protected, it’s a wonderful, viable medium. 

Turning it down to 3 kHz was a stupid idea. Chinese wall-warts, satellite tracking systems, LED traffic signals — it has taken years to destroy the AM band, it may take a few to bring it back.

Sure, AM is low-fidelity, but it’s dependable. In an emergency, AM goes virtually anywhere, FM doesn’t. Satellite is limited by heavily overcast skies and rain fade. 

Bring AM radio up to the standards it had. And put on some decent music and programming.

– Doug Fields

“The Vinyl Grotto Radio Show”


[Check Out More Letters at Radio World’s Reader’s Forum Section]