What is Radio Telling Detroit?


Dan-MasonIn a unified effort, radio has opened talks with Detroit automakers about how the radio tuner should look and function in the future.

We reported last week some initial conversations have taken place in the NAB-led effort. Many radio groups, like Beasley, CBS Radio, Hubbard, Emmis, Entercom and iHeartMedia are part of the discussions, and so are smaller groups.

Former CBS Radio President and CEO Dan Mason is now Senior Advisor for Broadcast Relations for iHeartMedia, reporting to CEO and Chairman Bob Pittman and President, COO and CFO Rich Bressler.

He tells RBR+TVBR Weekly Tech Roundup in an interview radio’s in-dash future is a key issue for iHeart.

The company believes AM/FM listening should be “pure” in the dashboard and not mixed in with several pages of apps. That could mean a strip of buttons or knobs at the top, side or bottom of the screen. iHeart has research that shows consumers want easy access to their local stations, Mason says.

“There should be a very easy and sensible way for a consumer to reach AM and FM listening, and probably include satellite in that as well, because satellite has made those deals to be in the car dashboard and they did that several years ago.” AM and FM listening would be utilizing HD radio within the protected portion of the tuner too, he says.

This is the time to be having those conversations with Detroit as connectivity becomes more entrenched in the car and automakers have various ways of implementing connectivity into their infotainment systems.