What do an ayem bomb scare and a p.m. yakker have in common? Staffers at three CBS-owned radio stations in Los Angeles found out after they were evacuated briefly from their Wilshire Boulevard offices Tuesday morning when a mailroom employee discovered a suspicious package — which turned out to be a promotional item from cable network BET.
“Welcome to the zoo,” radio reporter Pete Demetriou told Variety as he stood among fellow evacuated employees on the corner of Wilshire and Masselin Avenue. Staffers gathered on the sidewalk, phoning friends and colleagues while the area around the building was taped off by police.
After the entire 27-floor building in the 5600 block of Wilshire was evacuated, bomb squad experts were called in around 10 a.m. PT. The Eye’s all-news radio station KNX-AM began simulcasting the feed of San Francisco’s KCBS-AM news station because all KNX staffers were ordered out of the building.
“The initial observation in the mailroom was that there was a suspicious package addressed to a personality on KTWV-FM, The Wave,” Demetriou said. “But, it was beeping.”
The beeping package turned out to be an alarm clock that was included as part of a promotional package from BET’s upcoming late night talk show, “Don’t Sleep!” with T.J. Holmes. While the package turned out to be harmless, you nevertheless “follow protocol” and “your adrenaline goes into overdrive,” Demetriou said.
Employees were allowed back into the building shortly after the situation was diffused.
CBS owns seven radio stations in the L.A. market. KNX, KTWV and KRTH-FM are housed in the Wilshire Boulevard building.