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NAB Asks BMW to Rethink Leaving out AM for i3

Smith offers help in addressing any interference concerns, asks automaker to make AM part of dash for all models

NAB has asked BMW to reconsider leaving out the AM portion of the radio in the dashboard of the i3 electric vehicle.

Reports from Europe indicate BMW has removed both the AM portion of the radio and CD player from the dash of this model.

NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith says in a letter to BMW of North America President/CEO Ludwig Willisch that the broadcast lobby was “saddened” to hear of the change and hopes the automaker would reconsider the AM decision.

“NAB appreciates BMW’s concern that the i3’s electric motor could cause interference with AM signals and leave customers frustrated. However BMW’s electric car competitors have addressed this AM signal interference sufficiently enough that their vehicles still come equipped with AM radio,” writes Smith, who notes the NAB and its broadcast members are working with the FCC to address interference challenges on the AM band.

The broadcast lobby executive offers NAB’s help, to address “any concerns you may have” regarding AM radio, noting that the country’s “thousands of local broadcasters welcome a partnership with BMW that includes AM radio on the dashboard of all your vehicles.”

AM radio is not a thing of the past, notes Smith who references AM’s place in current events. “Even today, legendary AM stations like WFAN in New York and WLW in Cincinnati serve as the flagship stations for professional teams like the Yankees and Reds in Major League Baseball and the Giants and Bengals in the National Football League. Recently, the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings signed a deal to be on AM station KABC for the next five years.”

In smaller town, Smith says, AM radio stations are often the only media source providing emergency information when a horrific storm is approaching. “In cities large and small, AM radio is the first line of defense in a crisis, and a galvanizing force in helping to rebuild communities recovering from disaster,” according to Smith.

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