| The Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

December 16, 2015 12:08 pm  #1

If An Emergency Alert Falls In A Forest & There's No One To Hear It...

Stations were interrupted for another one of those emergency alerts this morning, at exactly 10:55 AM. I was able to monitor three different radio outlets at once and only one - Mike Stafford, on AM640, not only warned listeners about it well beforehand, but appears to have been aware it actually ran at all. The rest (all talk formats) simply cut into programming mid-conversation and then resumed in mid-sentence without apparently realizing they'd been off the air for 30 seconds or so. 

The emergency alerts are obviously a good idea and if they save even one life, they're worth the trouble. But you gotta wonder why - if they send out schedules of the test warnings - no one thinks to tell the on-air host what's about to happen so they can at least plan for the thing and sound professional. I know I've posted about this before, but when they come back on as though nothing has happened, they sound like they don't know what's going on during their own show. 

Which, come to think of it, is exactly what's happening.

Last edited by RadioActive (December 16, 2015 12:11 pm)


December 16, 2015 12:31 pm  #2

Re: If An Emergency Alert Falls In A Forest & There's No One To Hear It...

children's programming block version...



December 21, 2015 12:57 pm  #3

Re: If An Emergency Alert Falls In A Forest & There's No One To Hear It...

The CRTC is allowing three cable/satellite services to essentially get a free pass from offering these public alerts to subscribers with so-called "legacy" receivers. Bell, Shaw and Manitoba's MTS told the commission they couldn't deliver the now mandatory messages to customers who had old standard def set top boxes. As a result, the CRTC is requiring them only to report on how many are still in use on a monthly basis and those subs won't be getting the emergency notifications that interrupt programming with warnings of imminent danger.

CRTC makes exceptions for emergency alerts 

Yes, it's pretty dry stuff but it interests me for a couple of reasons. First, my mother, now in her 80s, is a Shaw Direct subscriber who does not have or want an HD set, has one of the old boxes and doesn't know or care about these rare announcements.

Second, Shaw is charging customers who want to upgrade $50 for the privilege and the reps there aren't sure if installation is included. So it could be a lot more than that. But Bell is offering a free upgrade for compatible boxes, making Shaw look fairly mercenary in comparison. There's no way my mother will consider ponying up an extra $50-plus for the "privilege" of having access to something that may only air once or twice a year.  

And finally, I note with some interest that despite that free offer, Bell says many subscribers are declining the freebie, mainly because they don't want their programs interrupted by the tests and what they see as these disruptive announcements! 

By the way, I asked a Shaw rep if the company had sent out info on the approaching "pick and pay" scenario that will be implemented early next year. He didn't know anything about what Shaw plans to do about it, what form it will take, how it will be implemented, when its customers will be informed about it or whether there will be any rate changes because of the new policy. But you gotta think the people in the ivory towers know exactly what they're planning to do by now, having had months and months to plan for what's coming. Apparently, they're not prepared to tell anyone, not even their phone reps - and by extension, their customers.

Perhaps they could send out an emergency alert about it when the time comes! (Not that dear old mom will see it.)

This could get interesting as we head into 2016.

Last edited by RadioActive (December 21, 2015 12:58 pm)

     Thread Starter