The EBS days....
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: The EBS days....

  1. #1

    The EBS days....

    Was anyone here a board operator or engineer during the EBS years? My question is: under EBS rules, were stations required to be manned 24/7? With EAS, of course, the answer is, no, but what if the Ruskies nuked us in the middle of the night? Surely someone had to be there....

  2. #2
    General Manager frankberry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Midland, Michigan
    Posts
    2,362
    Yes. Stations were required to have an operator on duty at all times when they were on the air.

  3. #3
    Yup. I knew a guy who was desperate for a toe-hold in a career in radio back in the day.
    One of his first gigs was running the overnight board at a Pittsburgh station while they
    played a syndicated package of Christmas music on Christmas Eve. This allowed the station's
    regular employees to have the night off.

  4. #4
    General Manager frankberry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Midland, Michigan
    Posts
    2,362
    My first fulltime gig was as a transmitter engineer ... a transmitter babysitter.
    Back in the day, any AM stations over 10kW and all TV and directional AM stations were required to have an operator with a first class license on duty at all times.

    While boring, the job gave me time to do some design and construction projects.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mcomike View Post
    what if the Ruskies nuked us in the middle of the night?
    Then we'd all be dead...not much radio can do at that point.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by frankberry View Post
    My first fulltime gig was as a transmitter engineer ... a transmitter babysitter.
    Back in the day, any AM stations over 10kW and all TV and directional AM stations were required to have an operator with a first class license on duty at all times.

    While boring, the job gave me time to do some design and construction projects.
    My first gig was at WOND-AM 1400 on your AM dial in Linwood, New Jersey. I worked the 4pm-10pm shift, leaving the station in an overnight satellite feed. I had to put the EAS machine in automatic mode, and the first person in took it in manual mode.

    At the now-defunct WMGM-TV, owned by the same company, it was all automatic, which meant that, yes, an RMT can and did disrupt a newscast. D'oh!

    I questioned whether someone had to be there 24/7 because of EAS, and was told that went out the window on 1/1/97.

    I worked at KFXP-TV in Pocatello, Idaho, where we did the same thing. There, I questioned whether intervention was needed in the unlikely event of an EAN, but was told that that's why the op stays in the room at all times (no bathroom break). I was also told, and we saw in the epic fail national test, that an EAN would seize the station.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by frankberry View Post
    My first fulltime gig was as a transmitter engineer ... a transmitter babysitter.
    Back in the day, any AM stations over 10kW and all TV and directional AM stations were required to have an operator with a first class license on duty at all times.

    While boring, the job gave me time to do some design and construction projects.
    Before I got my First Class license (yes, there was a FIRST , Second and Third-Class w/ Broadcast Endorsement many moons ago....!!) I did a stint at a 5kw directional AM as a board op....they HAD to pay a guy - with a FIRST - to shine a chair seat
    while I ran things...oh, he DID take transmitter readings --- EVERY HALF-HOUR!!! (circa 1970)....

  8. #8
    There was a famous incident in the early 1970's where an actual EBS alert got sent out by mistake instead of the weekly test. (there is audio out there online of an announcer at WOWO in Fort Wayne vamping nervously for several minutes until the All Clear was sent out over the wires.)

    It was determined that the vast majority of stations did NOT break into programming, as the employees on duty looked at that and were incredulous. They figured it HAD to be a mistake. This sort of defeats the whole purpose of having an EBS, which ultimately led to today's EAS that removes the human element entirely.
    Last edited by FreddyE1977; 09-13-2017 at 10:14 AM. Reason: this site's line spacing issues

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by FreddyE1977 View Post
    There was a famous incident in the early 1970's where an actual EBS alert got sent out by mistake instead of the weekly test. (there is audio out there online of an announcer at WOWO in Fort Wayne vamping nervously for several minutes until the All Clear was sent out over the wires.)

    It was determined that the vast majority of stations did NOT break into programming, as the employees on duty looked at that and were incredulous. They figured it HAD to be a mistake. This sort of defeats the whole purpose of having an EBS, which ultimately led to today's EAS that removes the human element entirely.
    That was Bob Sievers, WOWO's morning guy for many years. You can totally hear the relief in his voice when he announces that the alert was a mistake.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  




     
Our Conferences
Useful Contacts
Community


Contact Us