From the NY Times:

"On radio, Howard to me was a populist. The truck driver, the average guy would listen in the cafe, the truck, the old car that’s 50 years old and still has an AM radio,” said Mr. Leno in the interview. “But I don’t hear him quoted anymore. People don’t say: ‘Hey, did you hear what Howard said today?’ ”


Frankly, I'm surprised satellite radio hasn't done better. Last week was the first time I'd listened to it in a car (versus simply taking a listen inside of a big box store), and the sound quality was great. None of the cruddy cutting out of DTV with one heck of a selection. We could go from 24/7 NFL reporting to Disney to whatever the heck we wanted, minus local info, I assume. Pretty neat.

For those commuting, I suppose local works, but for those who drive -- salesmen in particular -- I'd think satellite would be unbeatable.

Except at night. I'm continually impressed with how well AM performs in the dead of night when you're on the highway. AM 1530 out of Cincinatti provides Fox Sports Radio all over the Carolinas, which is where I usually find myself driving, including all of the Westwood One Thursday, Monday, and Sunday night NFL games. You can catch NBA games (which, unlike those in the NFL, tend to be played at night) galore once the sun starts setting. If you can stand the, um, intricacies of the reception, AM really shows its stuff.

I've always felt the real advantage of radio is the installed hardware, so to speak, just like Leno remarks. Though he and I share an affinity for obsolete hardware (he loves old cars, so it's no surprise that he'd mention one 50 years old as if it mattered), walk into a store today and compare the price to receive AM versus Sirius. I don't think setellite is dead as a format. Its future potential is incredible. But I do enjoy seeing it fail today, if only in that it helps show that digital isn't always better.

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