TBS and “Conan” are in trouble with the Federal Communications Commission over a promotional spot the commission says mimicked the Emergency Alert System.
The FCC Enforcement Bureau is issuing a $25,000 fine against TBS for an April 2012 promo that used “emergency weather tones to gain attention” for that night’s guest, Jack Black. TBS admits it used a “sound burst” in the spot but says it wasn’t part of the Emergency Alert System code.
Using the EAS sounds for something that’s not an actual emergency is against FCC regulations.
Both the FCC and TBS received complaints about the promo from viewers who initially thought a real emergency was at hand.
The base fine for sending a false distress signal over the airwaves is $8,000, but the FCC argues for the larger sum because it was a “willful” violation.