At issue was programming on Univision’s WXNY-FM New York.
The FCC wrote, “The Commission received a Complaint from a resident of Passaic County, New Jersey (a suburb of New York City) alleging that, on January 28, 2014, he heard “EAS warning tones” aired over Station WXNY-FM. He then tuned in to listen for further instruction but did not hear Station employees declare any type of emergency or announce a test of the EAS. The listener tried to understand the Spanish words to determine the nature of the warning, but ultimately realized that it was not a true emergency alert. The Complainant noted that it would be confusing for listeners to hear the EAS Tones and distinguish a real alert or legitimate test from a comedy routine.”
Univision said its DJs were using a simulated EAS tone, and rather than argue over the semantics of this situation, Univision and the FCC agreed to settle with a consent decree.
Univision has trained its employees to make sure this doesn’t happen again, and is not charged with a violation.
It will also pay a civil penalty of $20,000.