The agency directed SM Radio to take immediate steps to comply with FCC rules and statutory requirements that prohibit misuse of EAS Tones. The Commission said that if SM Radio fails to comply, it may be liable for significant fines.
To ensure that the EAS Attention Signal remains uniquely associated with actual emergency announcements, and thus retains its ability to instantly command the public's attention, the Commission prohibits misuse of the EAS Tones by any person. The agency says that frivolous, casual or other uses of EAS Tones for reasons other than their defined purpose can desensitize listeners to the warning tones and undermine the effectiveness of the system in the event of an actual emergency.
SM Radio produces Stephanie Miller's program and provides it to SiriusXM for broadcast to its subscribers. SM Radio, however, did not produce the promotion but acquired it from an independent contractor. An SM Radio employee reviewed the promotion before inserting it into the program, acting under the mistaken belief that the EAS Tone in the promotion was an outdated tone associated with the precursor to the EAS, and too brief to be of concern. This transmission aired six times between December 4, 2013, and January 28, 2014.