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Emergency Alert Test: Other Than the Lady Gaga Glitch, It Went Reasonably Well

Nov 10, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Some TV viewers heard a Lady Gaga song during Wednesday’s nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, The New York Times’ Media Decoder blog reports.

Lady Gaga’s "Paparazzi" went out to some DirecTV subscribers during the first-ever national test of the system, according to the story.

The test, which took place Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET, was supposed to be heard across all TV channels and radio stations. But some viewers and listeners said they didn’t hear the alert, the story notes.

Some Comcast subscribers in northern Virginia said their TV sets switched to QVC before the alert started, the piece notes. Some messages were delayed, with one viewer in Tennessee saying she saw it 10 minutes late.

“We always knew that there would probably be some things that didn’t work and some things that did,” said an official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which worked with the Federal Communications Commission on the test.

The Emergency Alert System is tested locally on a regular basis, with most viewers being familiar with the “this is just a test” message. But the national system has not been tested before and has never been used in an emergency, the story notes.

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