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Tipsheet

Are Democrats and Carmakers Colluding to End Conservative Talk Radio?

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

For those who listened to the late Rush Limbaugh and other conservative radio hosts, you’d know that AM radio is where you go and listen to these folks. Limbaugh arguably saved AM radio and drove liberals crazy in the process. Now, this broadcasting network is under attack by car manufacturers who want to ditch it in their new models. Ford announced this month that they would be joining other car manufacturers in removing the radio feature (via Fox Business):

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Ford Motor Co. is preparing to remove AM radio in most of its "new and updated 2024 models," a report says, despite concerns from U.S. officials over Americans losing access to safety alerts broadcast over the airwaves. 

Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood confirmed the development in a statement to the Detroit Free Press. 

"We are transitioning from AM radio for most new and updated 2024 models," he said. "A majority of U.S. AM stations, as well as a number of countries and automakers globally, are modernizing radio by offering internet streaming through mobile apps, FM, digital and satellite radio options. 

"Ford will continue to offer these alternatives for customers to hear their favorite AM radio music, news and podcasts as we remove amplitude modulation -- the definition of AM in this case -- from most new and updated models we bring to market," he added, noting that commercial vehicles will still retain AM radio features because of contract language. 

The main concern for federal officials is that AM radio is essential for emergency broadcasts. The loss of the AM radio feature in these vehicles could potentially hamper any updates for natural disasters. For once, Pete Buttigieg is right about something. For their part, car manufacturers say that as technology changes, so should the system for broadcasting critical emergency updates. 

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Alternatives are offered, but Axios’ report on the upheaval makes it clear that the technology isn’t “dead,” despite many of us not having tuned into an AM station in years. It remains the most pervasive telecommunications medium, reaching 92 percent of the US population with a daily AM radio audience of 50 million. Still, car makers are starting to phase it out, especially with their electric models. Will it be an avalanche of change or more of a checkered transition?

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