Don’t Destroy Morning Drive with Permanent Daylight Saving Time

NRB | March 8, 2024 | Advocacy, Advocacy News

As the clocks “spring forward” with the annual return of Daylight Saving Time (DST) this Sunday, some lawmakers are once again highlighting their support for the Sunshine Protection Act (S. 582, H.R.1279), which aims to make DST the permanent standard time. But permanent daylight saving time could hurt AM radio

Because radio waves travel differently during the day and night, the current AM radio format has some limitations. The FCC requires AM stations to reduce power or power down completely at night to avoid interference with other stations. AM broadcasters begin their day with the “morning drive,” which lasts from approximately 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. This is one of the most important times for AM radio broadcasters from both a programming and revenue standpoint.

Were Daylight Saving Time made permanent, many AM stations would not be at full power or signal until at least 8:00 a.m. during the darkest days of the year from November to February, missing out on crucial morning drive listenership and advertising revenue. This would create a serious disruption for AM broadcasters, who already face considerable challenges in today’s media environment, including the removal of AM radio from some new electric vehicles.

Despite the yearly flurry of support for a time change, especially on the unpleasant Monday morning after Daylight Saving Time kicks in, there is currently no real consensus on this issue. In fact, experiments in making Daylight Saving Time permanent have proven unpopular, brief, and even dangerous in the past. The proposal to make Daylight Saving Time permanent requires further research and inquiry into the impact of this change on U.S. industries, including radio broadcasting, as well as potential safety issues if adults and children must commute to work and school before sunrise.

NRB’s membership includes over 120 AM radio stations, and our member companies have hundreds of AM radio affiliates among the 4,800+ AM radio stations operating in the United States today. AM radio stations play a crucial role in their local communities by providing news, traffic and weather reports, sports play-by-play, talk programs, and faith-driven programming and Bible teaching. They also serve as an indispensable resource in federal emergency management, facilitating crucial communication when power lines and cell towers fail. The NRB has historically advocated for the protection and preservation of AM radio and monitors threats to the broadcasting business environment.

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial