Guaranty Broadcasting VP/Market Manager Gordy Rush, who lived through Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav, supports the effort to embed FM chips in mobile devices.
Guaranty is the licensee of WDGL(FM,) which is also a primary station for the areas Emergency Alert System as well as WTGE(FM).
In a letter to Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu prodding her to lobby the wireless industry on this issue, Rush refutes claims by the wireless industry that cell service was not interrupted during and after those hurricanes.
The wireless industry says there are some 50-some models of mobile devices available that have FM radio service, but not more because consumers in the U.S., as opposed to those overseas, don’t seek out that option.
There is no crushing demand for radio on their cellphones, Rush says, because consumers are confused “because people already feel like they have radio through their cellphone through mobile apps and platforms” on which they listen to radio stations.
“Unfortunately, they do not realize that when cell service goes down, as it did in Katrina and Gustav, they will not be able to listen to their radio station through their radio station’s app or website. They also do not know that if an FM chip were inserted, their phone would act like a Walkman and they would be able to get information through their cellphone,” writes Rush.
In a study by Edison Research and Arbitron about how consumers use cell phones, researchers found 20% of at-work listening now happens on a smartphone, underscoring the importance of mobile devices as audio platforms to the radio industry.