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Readers Respond to AM Radio Developments

RW received letters about BMW dropping AM, EAS and networking


It is my opinion that the FCC, in concert with the FTC, should mandate that, as a matter of national security, all automobiles sold in the USA must have an analog AM tuner — it is the last gasp of service in extreme emergencies (“NAB Asks BMW to Rethink Leaving Out AM for i3,”, Aug. 13, 2014).

If they don’t have an AM radio, then they should be mandated to provide a NOAA Weather Radio with standby that would interrupt when the EAS tones sound. I think of WWL running their AM station on 25 kW day and night as an outreach to the not only New Orleans, but the entire southeast USA.

The FCC has failed us by not giving 12 MHz of bandwidth for a new AM band when they want 150 MHz for the $ellphone indu$try. The chairman’$ days as a lobbyi$t nullifies his intere$t in over-the-air broadcasters.

John Pavlica
Toledo, Ohio


The following comments are responding to Paul McLane’sradioworld.comblog, posted Aug. 13, 2014:

BMW’s decision to drop AM from their OEM radio has more to do with harmonizing their radio offerings with other markets. The i3 is projected to sell much better in Europe, where its low carbon footprint and high gas mileage is more in demand. European broadcasting is very FM-centric due to the higher population densities and it is uncommon to find AM in European OEM radios. It is rather sad and out of touch for the NAB to hassle BMW to add AM to its radios.

Steve Webster
Eugene, Ore.

I am not alone when I say that content still trumps method of delivery. Interesting, timely, compelling programming that is highly relatable will win even if it comes over the CB. Who’s doing it these days? We know their call signs: WJR, KMOX, WLW and a handful of others. Figure out the programming stagnation problem and you will solve not only AM’s woes, but those of an entire industry going forward.

Chris Roberts
First Family Broadcasting Inc.
Van Wert, Ohio

I think the fact that Catholic radio has been buying stand-alone AM stations in major markets for bargain prices speaks for itself.

Fred Krock
Retired Engineering Supervisor
San Francisco


I agree about our dress and actions dictating the type of work one does (“Five Questions: Cris Alexander,”, July 21).

Education opportunities are seen as social events for engineers who ask for reimbursement.

Engineers are seen as creating work, rather than fixing problems.

This has hindered the progress of EAS and ABIP programs that broadcast associations have worked so hard to maintain.

The engineer who is so often the bearer of bad news is equated to being the source of those problems, rather than the obsolete physical and digital infrastructure at the station. This often cannot be solved with a trade out.

Allan Johnson
Al’s First Call Communications
Wausaw, Wis.