Kimmel, 'Walking Dead' fined for use of emergency tones

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On Thursday, the FCC announced that it has fined ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! The companies have agreed to pay a total of more than $600,000 in civil penalties for the violations. AMC paid $104,000 for an episode of "The Walking Dead" that aired in February 2019 and used the EAS tone twice. It also prevents alert fatigue among the public.

"The Commission has repeatedly warned that the use of simulated or actual EAS Tones for non-authorized purposes - such as commercial or entertainment purposes - can lead to unsafe "alert fatigue" whereby the public becomes desensitized to the alerts, questioning whether the alerts are for a real, imminent threat", it read.

FCC rules prohibit the use of the signal for any objective other than an actual emergency.

Regulators slapped the $395,000 fine on Jimmy Kimmel Live! over the sketch on October 3 previous year, the same day alert was officially tested nationwide, going out to more than 200 million mobile phones. The Walt Disney Television-owned network released a statement saying it takes "regulatory compliance seriously and we are pleased to have resolved this issue".

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However, the use of the EAS tone in that episode drew the ire of the FCC.

Unluckiest of all was Animal Planet's Lone Star Law, which managed to capture a WEA received by phones during its Hurricane Harvey episode. During the trial, more than 200 million mobile phone users in the United States received a "Presidential Alert" notification saying it was a test. The episode aired eight times from January to March 2018.

Other broadcasters that have been found to have misused the warning tones include Los Angeles-area radio stations KDAY and KDEY-FM.

As part of a settlement announced August 15, Meruelo Radio Holdings must pay $67,000 to the FCC and develop a compliance plan that includes laying out operating procedures for the station along with a compliance manual and compliance training program.

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