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NIA Broadcasting, CircuitWerkes “Take on Big Auto”

Local broadcaster and audio firm plan to advocate for AM

Neal Ardman NIA Broadcasting
Neal Ardman

Broadcast owner Neal Ardman has announced an initiative “to force the big electric vehicle manufacturers to stop causing interference to the AM band.”

“We are hoping to work something out with the makers of EV cars without having to file lawsuits in any federal court,” he said in a press release. “That said, if we must file to protect the AM band from this incursion, then we will do just that.”

Ardman is president of NIA Broadcasting, which owns radio stations in Florida and Georgia, including WTMP in the Tampa market. He is working with Kyle Magrill, president of audio manufacturer CircuitWerkes, which also owns FM translators in Florida.

Ardman noted that broadcasters including AM are protected from unintended interference by law.

He said AM serves diverse audiences interested in sports, talk, ethnic and religious programming. His Tampa station carries programming for Black audiences, and he said other AMs there serve the Hispanic community and other minority groups.

“EVs don’t just cause noise to the radios built into the EV,” said Ardman in the release, “they also cause harmful interference to the cars that are nearby.”

Kyle Magrill was quoted saying, “The RF noise from EVs has caused so much interference on the AM band that the EV manufacturers have chosen to remove AM radio from the cars rather than solve the interference problem. While that hides the problem in the EV, it makes it impossible for the person driving next to the EV to enjoy AM radio in their own car.”

Ardman said he has had talks with Xperi, the National Association of Broadcasters and broadcast attorney John Trent about these issues, but has not yet contacted automakers directly; he said that is the next planned step.

[Related: “Current AM Debate May Be Just the Start”]