UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) – An iconic sound of American culture, closer to being silenced. But that could soon be a thing of the past.
Automakers, like Ford, Mazda, BMW and Tesla, are planning to remove or already have removed AM radio from some 2024 gas or electric vehicles, citing electromagnetic audio interference as the reason.
But are they being tone-deaf?
Jasen Sokol is the director of WJCU 88.7 FM on the campus of John Carroll University.
“I’m not a car guy to that extent, but I understand there are some technological issues there and some interference issues and all of that but there are still some very popular radio stations that are on AM, even in a market like Cleveland,” Sokol said, like WTAM and ESPN Cleveland.
But Jasen says in smaller markets: “…where maybe there isn’t as much coverage. Maybe there isn’t an FM station that provides the level of coverage that the AM station does.”
Coverage, like emergency weather alerts from FEMA or other government agencies.
Contrary to Millennial or Gen Z’ers beliefs, AM radio is not a dying breed. In fact, the Washington Post reports, there are still more than 4,000 AM radio stations that broadcast news, sports and talk shows throughout the country.
Recent John Carroll graduate, Logan Potosky, 22, has already landed his first job as the play-by-play broadcaster for the Lake County Captains. While he’s well aware of the history and importance of AM radio, he says his peers are tuning out.
“Sound quality I think might be the big thing in my generation,” Potosky said. “We want it clear and crisp … and with like, satellite, it think it’s just becoming so much more popular.”