Summer is over. Vacation is past, We’ve experienced tornadoes, heat, hurricane/tropical storm and an earthquake here in Massachusetts. All of this came after a winter spent shoveling snow over my head. It has been over a month since my last post. Not much happening in media in August. I did see the spate of bad weather has given a push to putting FM receivers into cell phones. My immediate question is what about AM?
In my area most of the FM stations are nothing but juke boxes, automated most of the time. Prerecorded, or should I say’ voice tracked’ (which doesn’t make a broadcaster sound like they’ve abandoned their post). At least in the major markets AM stations have staff (real people) who can cover a local news event. FM radio’s contribution during the June tornadoes here in Springfield was to feed the audio of the local television stations. AM was not much better. As one who was stuck in gridlocked traffic, I was glad to have it. At the same time I was upset that none of the local radio stations had the capacity to cover breaking news. We are a market of news readers left with one, yes ONE, real news reporter.
If the FCC truly wants to do the public service they should give cell phones AM and FM capability. Of course it is still up to the radio business to give us programming that matters, when it matters. That may be too much to hope for.