First Nationwide EAS Test Is Today
Federal regulators, station engineers and state
broadcast associations are focused on today’s national EAS test.
It comes just after an election day. Maine Association of Broadcasters President/CEO Suzanne Goucher tells me there were three hotly-contested
referendum questions on the ballot in Maine, and that EAS PSAs have been
competing for airtime with issue ads for several weeks.
Radio, television, satellite
radio, satellite television, cable and wireline
video providers are taking part in the test.
Judging by SBE EAS listserv
chatter, Goucher says, it will be interesting to see how satellite TV will
handle the test because apparently it doesn’t normally do EAS tests. Engineers
and others are asking whether satellite TV systems will “force tune” to a blue
screen. Goucher says a few MAB members are recording signals off satellite TV
to see what happens.
In radio, Greater Media VP Engineering Milford
Smith says the company’s stations had already replaced its encoder/decoders
with new CAP-compliant boxes (though, as we’re reported, this is a test of the
legacy EAS, not CAP).
“I have distributed all manner of informative
materials to the locations and requested that they all double check things like
ensuring clear reception of all input sources, making sure all levels are
properly set and putting the ‘special’ EAS handbook in all air studios,” said
Preparation has also included talking with all
operators who will be running the test and having engineers immediately
available at the time of the test, he said. All Greater Media locations have
filled out the FCC’s “Form 1” and are prepared to complete “Form 2” today and
“Form 3” shortly thereafter.
FEMA IPAWS Program Manager Manny Centeno this
morning said regulators are looking forward to today’s test and are happy to
see that EAS participants “are excited and engaged.”