Advocacy Update from KAB President Allison Mazzei

Since our last newsletter, members of Congress have introduced the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act. Leading this legislation in the House are Representatives Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Tom Kean Jr. (R-NJ), Rob Menendez (D-NJ), Bruce Westerman (R-AR), and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA). In the Senate, Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), and J.D. Vance (R-OH) are leading the charge.

If passed, the bill would:

  • Require the Secretary of Transportation, within one year of enactment, to issue a rule under which motor vehicles made or imported into the US would be required to include an installed device, as standard equipment, that can receive AM radio (including analog) signals and play AM content;
  • Ensure that AM is conspicuous to the driver in the dash;
  • In the period between enactment and prior to the Transportation Secretary issuing the new rule, require motor vehicles that do not include AM radio to be labeled as such to consumers in a clear and conspicuous manner; and
  • Direct the GAO to report on whether an alternative communication system for delivering EAS alerts exists that is as reliable and resilient as AM broadcast stations.

Impact of Virtual MPVDs
We are also focusing on a TV-centric issue regarding the impact of Virtual MVPDs. A nearly decade-old proceeding at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could impact local television broadcasters’ ability to invest and serve audiences with uniquely local and trusted information; however, it doesn’t include up-to-date marketplace information regarding the rise, and increasing influence, of digital distribution platforms. The KAB believes Congress should encourage the FCC to refresh its record in this proceeding to better reflect current marketplace realities and will also be discussing this issue with our members of Congress in June.