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San Francisco Radio Station Accidentally Plays Political Ad Over Emergency Broadcast System

by Open-Publishing - Tuesday 7 November 2006

Radio Elections-Elected Catastrophes USA

This is a test of the Emergency Alert System: Vote for Dick Mountjoy!

In an apparent violation of FCC rules, conservative talk radio station KFBK 1530 AM in Sacramento transmitted a paid political advertisement to an unknown number of other stations in the area, using the federal Emergency Alert System (EAS), thus automatically forcing the ad onto the stations’ airwaves. This is according to a press release issued today by KDVS-FM, a non-commercial community station in Davis that received and inadvertently aired the transmission.

The advertisement is for Richard "Dick" Mountjoy, the Republican running against incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Immediately following the Mountjoy ad is a commercial for HMS Capital Loans.

Click below to hear the complete recording of the EAS broadcast, aired Nov. 6 at 10:02 a.m.:

Listen/Download Audio | 2:26 min : 3.51 MB

From the KDVS press release:

* Disaster warning system used to transmit advertisements

EAS (generally characterized by its signature tones and test disclaimer) is designed and exclusively used for rapid communication alerting areas to emergency situations (such as natural disasters). The content of these messages is strictly controlled by federal law for obvious reasons.

* Sacramento conservative talk radio station KFBK transmitted the initial message

KFBK 1530 AM in Sacramento is the Local Primary (LP) station designated to initiate the broadcast of EAS messages in several Northern California counties, including Yolo. This morning, KFBK initiated the required monthly test of EAS but failed to cease broadcasting via EAS upon the standard message of EAS conclusion ("This concludes this test of the Emergency Alert System"). Instead, they forced rebroadcast of the aforementioned advertisements, including the paid political advertisement.

* KFBK blames training error for the transmission

Upon contact by KDVS management, KFBK Operations Manager Alan Eisansom claimed station responsibility for the message broadcast assigning blame to some kind of nonspecific training snafu.

Posted By: Justin Beck (Email) |

November 06 2006 at 03:20 PM