The Chief Engineer at WSTM/WTVH in Syracuse has sent out an internal memo telling the staff that they can not run any weather crawls for the near future.
It's December in Syracuse, weather crawls are quite common, but it seems that if the station does so, it will be in violation of the FCC.
Here is the internal memo sent to the staff:
SUBJECT: NO WEATHER ALERTS!
We currently CANNOT run any severe weather alerts! Actually, it is more like “we MUST NOT!”
As of today, December 1st, it is required by the FCC that any emergency crawls be accompanied by a voice on the secondary audio channel that speaks the information contained in the crawl. This is being done so that the blind will have access to the emergency information. How will they know there is a crawl? There will be an audio beep on the main audio channel, signaling to them that emergency speech is present on the secondary audio channel.
Since we have not completed the wiring and setup for the “text to speech alerts,” we would be in VIOLATION if we run a severe weather crawl. Therefore, WE MUST NOT RUN SEVERE WEATHER CRAWLS until the installation of WSI’s text-to-speech system is finished, probably by Friday of this week.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.
Kevin Tubbs – Chief Engineer, CSTE
Sinclair Broadcast Group - Syracuse
WSTM NBC3 • WTVH CBS5 • WSTQ CW6
Now, since they knew this was coming, maybe the station should have addressed this problem back in the summer, you know before the snow started to fly.