Several hundred stations in Illinois were affected by an EAS mistake this morning, sources told Radio World.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency was testing new EAS equipment; what was supposed to be a closed-circuit test of the 10-minute presidential alert message from FEMA actually was broadcast to some 500 stations.
Starting at 7:30 this morning up to about 8 a.m., depending on when each station in the chain got the message, their programming was taken over for 10 minutes. All listeners in the Chicago area, for example, heard the alert tones and then WGN’s regular programming (with no explanation), according to sources. In other parts of the state, listeners would have heard dead air after the alert tones.
A monthly test would have lasted for two minutes, as opposed to the 10-minute presidential alert.
Chicago, Rockford, Quincy, and Springfield were among the affected areas.
Radio World will post further updates in tomorrow’s Leslie Report.
Messages to FEMA were not immediately returned.