It might not mean much to many of you who are younger than the Baby Boomer generation. And it sure as heck isn't likely to have any impact on sales.

But at least one major auto manufacturer is respecting broadcast history by publicly announcing plans to keep AM radio as part of the audio system in newly manufactured vehicles. For that, we say CRRRRAAANNNKKK IT UP!

Seriously, Montana has some huge-signal AM radio stations with enormous coverage areas that serve as a vital link to the rest of the world, not only in small, remote communities but in major towns around the state as well. Many of these stations thrive thanks to nationally syndicated talk shows along with local news/talk programming and high school and college sports broadcasts. And while the numbers are dwindling, it's a delivery system that Ford Motor Company still believes deserves a seat at the table.


The Northern Ag News Network tells us that Ford's CEO announced on Tuesday that the company would include AM radio as part of all newly manufactured vehicles in 2024. CEO Jim Farley was quoted as saying, “After speaking with policy leaders about the importance of AM broadcast radio as a part of the Emergency Alert System, we’ve decided to include it on all 2024 Ford and Lincoln vehicles.”

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) applauded the decision, releasing a statement that included, in part, “NAB commends Ford for committing to keep AM radio in their vehicles...With tens of millions of listeners, AM radio continues to serve as a vital lifeline to the public and a critical source of community news and exchange of diverse ideas.

“In light of Ford’s announcement, NAB urges other automakers who have removed AM radio from their vehicles to follow Ford’s lead..."


A Massachusetts U.S. senator, Ed Markey, has even introduced the AM for Every Vehicle Act, with a pretty persuasive argument:

"AM radio is more than just an essential safety feature—it’s a free, accessible source for anyone to listen to music, news, sports, and entertainment.

"Innovation in the automotive industry should mean more features, not fewer...Ford’s reversal reflects an overdue realization about the importance of AM radio, but too many automakers are still going the wrong direction.

"Congress must pass my AM for Every Vehicle Act to maintain access to AM radio for years to come.”


According to the company, any owners of a Ford electric vehicle without AM broadcast capability will be offered the capability through a software update, according to the company.


While three have FM translators and website streaming audio to enhance listeners' experience, Missoula still has four commercial AM radio stations operating locally:

>KGRZ, AM 1450 / FM 92.7

>KGVO, AM 1290 / FM 99.3

>KMPT, AM 930 / FM 99.7

>KYLT, AM 1340 (Anderson Broadcasting, Polson)

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