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Re: The new emergency alert system

> I forget what the new system is called that replaces the Emergency
> Broadcast System,

EAS (Emergency Alert System).

 but I was quite annoyed last night when WCVB interrupted
> NYPD Blue to run a test of the system.  EBS tests always used to come
> during a break in the program.  Is there some requirement of the new
> system that requires them to break into a program to run a test?

Yes, and frankly, it's got me annoyed.

Tuesday night WBMX, which is the EAS primary station for Massachusetts,
sent out what is called a "Required Monthly Test" (RMT).  All stations
receiving such a test are required to rebroadcast it within 15 minutes,
according to the rules.  The problem was, we were broadcasting a live
concert from Tanglewood at the time, and the test, which ran
automatically, interrupted Seiji Ozawa conducting Tchaikovsky's 1812

Most EAS tests consist of six brief buzzing or farting noises (which are
actually data bursts) and nothing more.  The RMT, however, carries the old
EBS tones and thirty seconds of bullshit about the EAS and its purpose.
The EBS tones were supposedly shortened from twenty-odd seconds to eight,
but WBMX still uses the longer tones because of some old EBS receivers
in use in the evacuation zone around the Seabrook nuclear power plant.
So... there were a lot of pissed-off WCRB listeners Tuesday night.

Our PD wants to pull the plug on the damned thing, FCC or no FCC.
Frankly, I agree with him.

Rob Landry