AM radio being removed from cars

I don’t think the car manufacturers drop old audio formats primarly because new ones promise to earn them money. They have motivation to drop older technologies as soon as they can, though.

The last statement is certainly true. But I question the “tiny minority” claim. I wonder if you and those around here issuing snarky proclamations about the “uselessness” of AM radio would care to guess how many AM stations there are in my general broadcast area? It’s around 30, maybe more. Most are specialty stations focused on classic rock, all-news radio, all-sports radio, foreign language/multicultural stations, and a few general ones. Somebody is keeping these stations in business, and neither those stations nor their listeners would want to see AM radio banished from cars.

There’s also this that I posted earlier and will requote in part:

Good to hear about WBZ AM still going strong. I can remember when 'BZ was all AM all the time, and it was probably the most popular radio station in Metro Boston back in the day. I used to love listening to the radio, similar, in some ways, to the Internet, not technologically but for information, news and entertainment, but not “interactive”, unless you count talk radio, which didn’t get really big till the mid-60s.

Yeha, please remove AM radio. It is mostly Conservative Talk radio or bad musci anyway.

And sports

Okay, true, but since I despise "professional " sports, it wasnt a feature for me. However, I concede others may disagree.

Me too. I made the same oversight earlier in the thread.

What would we replace all those, “Urgent message when flashing, tune to 1610 / 1640 AM” or the park(ing)/info updates at all of the parks with?

I don’t use them often but it is simple to tune them in when necessary. It shouldn’t be like parking meter apps where it seems every city has a different one. No, we shouldn’t be 1) downloading & 2) setting up your app while driving IF there’s even cell coverage to do such in some at some of the rural parks. Which app do I need to download, the NPS one, or a different one for some state or county/city park?

Congress could, instead of micromanaging which entertainment features are in cars, direct the FCC to make it easier for state departments of transportation to acquire low-power FM licenses.

One side effect of this could be all the crap that’s on AM now trying to migrate to FM. I don’t know if I like that.

Most of it couldn’t survive on FM. Too limited a range to get the bulk advertisers for the dreck they program.

AM radio works economically because it blankets ruralia. FM blankets nothing.

Speaking of sports, it seems that AM sports radio stations have fewer games and more blah-blah-blah than they did ten years ago or so. For example, The Score in Chicago still has every Cubs game, but it no longer has many nationally-syndicated broadcasts of other games (e.g., Sunday night baseball game of the week, early-round NCAA basketball tournament games, or the like). I imagine it’s cheaper for them to just pay for a syndicated sports talk program than to put actual games on the air. Also, the length of the commercial breaks has become intolerable. Without exaggerating, some breaks are at least five minutes long.

This is very true. I think I can complete the entire 6 mile commute from my house and to work without the commercials ever ending if I time it right (last 10 minutes of the hour).

The 10 minutes after the end of a Mariner game is particularly bad.

I’ll always have a soft spot for AM. That’s where I heard all the latest Hits in junior high and high school. Casey Kasem, Wolfman Jack, are great memories. Beaker Street with Clyde Clifford was a midnight show in Little Rock. Clifford was a broadcast engineer at the clear channel KAAY transmitter.

I didn’t listen to FM very often until the mid 70’s. Beaker Street moved to FM then.

Not enough bandwidth.

A few large market conservative talkers made an effort a few years ago to move their programming to FM by either simulcasting with their AM station or totally moving it to FM. It was an attempt to cultivate a younger audience beyond the cranky-old-man audience the AMs had. The results were mixed. Despite the influence conservative talkers supposedly have, in most major markets, those stations don’t often even rate in the top 10. They do a little better in the South, as you might expect.

We have a conservative AM where I live, in a very red area. They have a low-powered FM translator, carry many of the big-name talkers and have a local morning show, but their numbers are dismal. If I owned a full-powered FM station, I wouldn’t waste it on programming that plays in mono!

Is “talkers” the industry term (or slang) for those performers, those sorts of shows, or both? You’re the pro here, not me. I’m always curious to learn new jargon from somebody else’s field.

It’s not a term I’ve encountered in that context before. Although would I never have had much reason to either.

Thanks for any insight you care to share.

More industry slang or jargon than anything official and I still tend to use it. I was using the term as shorthand, which people in the business might do when referring to stations that identify as having a “Talk” format, and the people who host shows on Talk stations, rather than calling them “Talk Show Hosts.” Some stations that have a Talk format will call themselves “News/Talk,” and others will specify they are “Conservative Talk,” or in very rare occasions “Progressive Talk.” (There aren’t many of those. Liberal talk has never really caught on.)

Every business has its jargon. Many years ago, radio stations that played the top hits of the day (the Top 40, 30 or whatever) were often called “Rockers.” That went away with the advent of “Album Oriented Rock” and other variations on the “Rock” format, like “Classic Rock” and “Alternative Rock.” Nowadays the industry term for “Top 40” stations is “CHR,” or Contemporary Hits Radio. A long-defunct industry tip sheet called “Radio & Records” came up with that about 30 years ago and it’s stuck ever since.