EAS Rules Clarification

Harmonising EAS and program content playout

A major source of contention is the lack of harmony of EAS and program content. While there are events that should always be given the ability to immediately override program, "Priority 1" this is not so fo many alerts. If a priority scheme can be associated with the event codes, and lower priorities (higher numbers) can be assigned progressively longer timeout periods before proceeding to override the program, perhaps grouped, in increments of 8 minutes, with a maximum of 30 minutes for priorities 8, 9 and 10 for example, this would guarantee the current 30 minute time limit.

Then the EAS Encoder/Decoder can be polled by the automation system at scheduled "EAS Opportunities" to determine if a message is to be aired that is awaiting a timeout. If the Encoder/Decoder has a message, it can reply with the duration of the message also.

If there is no polling of the Encoder/Decoder for 32 minutes, the Encoder/Decoder can revert to immediate override mode until polling starts. While this adds to the complexity of automation and playlists, more complex systems should be able to perform in this manner. Opportunities might include PSAs, station promos, or perhaps even credit rolling, at the disgression of the Program Manager or Traffic Controller. OK, so this is asking the Emergency Management community to accept some limitation, but it is with the benefit of having an EAS system that is more politically acceptable.

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Idea No. 35