Quincy, IL (October 12, 2006) — Broadcast Electronics (BE) announced that emergency-alert Messagecasting has been added to TRE Message Manager, the company’s text application suite for RDS, HD Radio and the Web.
The optional Emergency Alert System (EAS) module is reportedly an industry first, making it possible for stations such as WWL 105.3 FM of New Orleans to feed text messages originated by civil authorities to RDS/HD Radio receivers as well as the station Web site. “Emergency text is the latest development in our overall strategy to improve broadcasts in the markets we serve,” said Marty Hadfield, vice president of engineering for Entercom, which is using BE products for its national text initiative.
WWL installed BE’s TRE Message Manager text application to automate promos, traffic and song text by station and cluster, and added the EAS module in April of this year to provide another public service. With the new module, text readouts of emergency alerts instantly appear on the face of HD Radio and RDS tuners in place of song title and artist name.
“We can’t think of a more important public service opportunity for broadcasters than being able to send emergency text alerts, and it’s a step toward a comprehensive national emergency system,” commented Allen Hartle, BE director of development, broadcast data services.
A recent executive order by President George W. Bush called for a review of the nation’s public warning systems, including EAS.
BE developed the EAS option for The Radio Experience in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, basing the new option on emergency triggers and codes established by authorities. EAS text broadcasts along with audio as activations from the weather bureau occur and evacuation updates from civil authorities develop, adding another radio service to communicate shelter locations and update the public on safety issues during hurricanes and other emergencies.