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Old WHEN Alert Jingle Posted on YouTube

SYRACUSE — “Disaster never sounded catchier!”  That’s part of the description posted along with an old recording of an old Emergency Alert System jingle custom-produced for WHEN “circa 1975.”  The jingle has been posted on YouTube.

Tip of the hat to Y94FM (WYYY) host Tony Fallico for posting the link on Facebook; that’s how we found out about it.  The jingle basically makes a song out of the usually dry, monotone reads of the required EBS test “spiel” required by the FCC back when EBS was in place.

Updated 4/14/12: We discovered the original video was gone, but someone else had since reposted it.  Here’s the current version… this one repeats the jingle a few times, so after you hear it the first time, there’s no need to listen through the entire 2 minutes.

If the embedded video doesn’t work, click here to see the video on YouTube’s website.

On Facebook, Tony says he doesn’t believe the jingle ever aired.  But Peter McElvein, now the PD at WCNY-FM, says he actually ran the jingle on many occasions when he worked at WHEN — and our thanks to Peter for correcting which version of the WHEN logo matches with the timeframe when this jingle was used.  (See additional clarification on the jingle in Peter’s comment, below this article.)  Feel free to add your own memories below.  If you don’t have a login to post comments, sign up for free.

5 Comments to Old WHEN Alert Jingle Posted on YouTube

  1. “back when EAS was in place” – I still hear local stations, WSYR in particular, and Time Warner Cable, do EAS tests. Usually at the worst times, and on TWC in particular, the volume goes way up high – not great for quiet late night TV viewing after others have gone to bed.

  2. Yes, it certainly did air. I ran it many times myself. The station had to stop when we got in trouble with the FCC.

    The sections of the jingle are out of order on the Facebook posting. In it the section that is really the close is at the beginning. Then the open is second and the close comes again at the end. The correct opening is “This is a test. For the next 60 seconds… (etc.)”

    The open ran first, then the combination of carrier cuts and tone, and then the close.

  3. The old EBS system used turning the carrier off and on to un-mute the receivers at the stations that were monitoring. The EAS system left the carrier on and triggered receivers with dual tones.

    For trivia buffs, the format for an EBS test was:
    1. Opening script
    2. Carrier off for five seconds
    3. Carrier back on for five seconds with silence
    4. Carrier off for five seconds
    5. Carrier back on for 15 seconds of 1 kHz tone
    6. Closing script

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