The New Jersey Broadcasters Association has become the first such group to endorse the Sprint FM chip proposal.
The NJBA passed a resolution endorsing the preliminary agreement at the group’s March board meeting.
“This is a matter of vital importance to inform and protect our citizens especially in times of natural disaster, severe weather or other emergencies that require the unequalled power of radio to reach the public” according to NJBA President Paul Rotella.
The business details of the deal announced at CES to place FM chips in an estimated 30 million Sprint cellphones over a three-year-period is still being worked out between Emmis, on behalf of the radio industry, and the carrier.
Emmis is seeking some 2,900 stations to donate inventory and become part of an FM network in the top markets for its NextRadio app with the goal of a summer launch. Broadcasters could also eventually decide to use another smartphone app developed for radio.
Referring to Hurricane Sandy, Rotella said: “In times of crisis, New Jersey’s broadcasters are always there. As the most trusted source of news and emergency information, New Jersey’s’ first choice is to turn to local radio stations to get information about an impending storm or crisis situation, learn how to stay safe and discover how to pick up the pieces. The need for the information that only our local broadcasters could provide via radio during Hurricane Sandy proved this.”