Enforcement Bureau Official Reinforces EAS Tone Prohibition

The FCC is serious about enforcing its prohibition against the use of simulated, or real, EAS tones on the air except during an actual emergency.

“It’s crying wolf,” said Eloise Gore, associate chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. During a regulatory panel she said, “If you have people become [used to] to hearing this tone, when there is a real emergency, then they won’t pay attention to a real event.”

The FCC began receiving lots of consumer complaints about this issue about a year and a half ago, she said, calling it a multiplatform issue that affects radio and television as well as cable and satellite systems.

During a discussion of the online television file, FCC Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake noted that as of July 1, all television stations are required to post their political files online; at first only those stations in the top 50 markets had to do so. “The issue is of some importance; this is an election year and by July some campaigns will be well underway,” he said.

NAB EVP/General Counsel Jane Mago said the organization anticipates that at some point the FCC will require radio stations to post their political files online as well but there is no set date for that yet.


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