Posts Tagged ‘talk radio’

Endangered Species: AM Car Radios?

February 22, 2023

Endangered Species: AM Car Radios

In the 1930s, dashboard AM radios (Audio Modulation) became a standard feature in US cars, and drivers could change stations safely with push-button tuning. In the 1950s and early 60s, teenagers cruised the streets listening to Rock n’ Roll from radio DJs like Murray the K, Alan Freed, Robin Seymour, and Wolfman Jack. AM radio became part of driving for these baby boomers.

1970s car radios included the FM (Frequency Modulation). FM delivers music with less static and greater sound range, often in stereo. Music broadcasters (and listeners) moved to the FM band. AM stations are fine for voice transmission, and can be heard over greater distances. AM became the kingdom of talk radio, often religious or conservative political opinion shows.

So: talk radio, mostly conservative, is largely broadcast on AM to conservative and older listeners, prone to listening to radio in their cars. Works all the way around, right? Except that tomorrow’s electric cars likely won’t have AM radios. It costs too much to shield them from motor interference. Yet another reason for conservative oldsters to hang on to their gas burners, no matter how right-wing Tesla boss Elon Musk gets.

If a reasonably-priced workaround isn’t found, talk radio broadcasters will have to transition to FM, or teach old-timers how to use podcasts.


“Will Electric Cars Kill AM Radio?”, Jim Motavalli, Autoweek

“In a Future Filled With Electric Cars, AM Radio May Be Left Behind,” Michael Levenson, New York Times

“The End of Terrestrial Radio? Electric Cars and AM Radio,” Jim Flammang, Consumer Reports

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May 31, 2013


“The media has their own agenda. And if the media has a storyline, it just writes it in …. And currently the storyline is ‘conspiracy theorist.’ …Why is it a concentrated effort now to label me a conspiracy theorist?”

— “Glenn Beck sees media conspiracy to label him a ‘conspiracy theorist,'” Stephen C. Webster, Raw Story


Car Talk Will Be Towed to the Junkyard

June 8, 2012

Car Talk Will B Towed to the Junkyard

Tom and Ray Magliozzi will put their weekly Car Talk radio program up on blocks in September. The program ran for 10 years as a local feature on Boston’s WBUR-FM before being picked up by NPR stations nationwide 25 years ago. Tom Magliozzi is turning 75 this year and, according to his brother Ray, has decided that even one hour’s work a week is too much.

“Car Guys” Tom and Ray received a Peabody Award in 1992 and have been inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame. More importantly, they have been honored by the Martin Guitar Company with a special edition Click and Clack Martin Guitar (great muffler inlay on the fifth fret).

Car Talk’s drive train may be shot but, like any old beater, it’s still got some decent parts. The show’s archivist and editors will bolt them together and test drive them on public radio starting in October.