FCC Fines iHeartRadio $1 Million for Improper Emergency Alerts

The FCC has hit iHeartCommunications with a $1 million fine for airing a false emergency alert during the broadcast of the nationally syndicated “The Bobby Bones Show.”

The FCC said that the false alert was heard on iHeartRadio’s station in WSIX-FM in Nashville, Tenn., on Oct. 24. The FCC said that Bones, while commenting on an emergency alert system test that aired during the 2014 World Series, broadcast an EAS tone from a recording of an earlier nationwide test.

“This false emergency alert was sent to more than 70 affiliated stations airing ‘The Bobby Bones Show’ and resulted in some of these stations retransmitting the tones, setting off a multistate cascade of false EAS alerts on radios and televisions in multiple states,” the FCC said.

In addition to the $1 million fine, iHeart must comply with a three-year compliance and reporting plan, as well as remove or delete all simulated or actual EAS tones from the company’s audio production libraries.

The FCC prohibits the transmission of actual or simulated EAS tones in circumstances other than a real alert or an authorized test.

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