Fritts Urges FCC to Stop EAS Overrides

NAB President and CEO Eddie Fritts has asked the FCC to stop cable operators from blocking messages from the emergency alert system (EAS) from local TV stations.

"From Amber Alerts to emergency weather warnings to terrorist updates, local broadcasters have a long tradition of service to communities in times of crisis," Fritts wrote in a letter to the commission. "We take seriously our role as providers of breaking news and information that can help Americans avert tragedy before it strikes."

Fritts asked the commission to end the practice of overriding potentially life-saving warnings offered by local TV stations during emergency weather events.

The NAB presidents' comments came in response to a recent FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) concerning EAS, which was created so that broadcast stations, cable systems, satellite companies and other services could automatically send emergency information to the public when the need arises. The FCC will work with the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Commerce and its component, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service to review the distribution of EAS warnings.