One of the local radio stations broadcast “dead air” on Saturday night. Techncially that is called broadcasting an “open carrier”. Around 1930 ET WFUN went silent and broadcast an open carrier. That persisted for at least half an hour.

Why is this a problem? WFUN is a participating station in the Emergency Alert System per guidance available from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. A problem like this should be corrected immediately instead of being allowed to persist for half an hour on a Saturday night. If there was an Emergency Alert System activation for something like an Amber Alert or a severe weather event the alert quite possibly would not have actually gone out on the station. The station is not a “Local Primary” or “State Primary” station for message origination in the plan.

However, that station is owned in a cluster with five other stations. I didn’t check the other five to see if their programming was disrupted too. If the programming was disrupted on WFUN the computer systems feeding the other transmitters are not necessarily well-separated and could go down just as easily. This is a commercial operation rather than Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

WKKY is currently back as participating in the Emergency Alert System plan. There have been times where various stations in the county have dropped out of the plan as non-participating for all sorts of reasons yet return later. The translators for the national religious broadcasting networks do not all show in the Emergency Alert System plan.

There are no local television stations. NOAA Weather Radio reception is still a mess due to rampant radio frequency intereference. Wireless Emergency Alerts are subject to obershoot problems due to significant spacing between towers out here.

This isn’t the back of beyond. This isn’t the Australian outback. This is rural America.

It is almost as if we have a problem or something…