PRSS announces stations in Tornado Alley to receive test-alert funding

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The Public Radio Satellite System announced Monday the 27 stations that will receive funding to synchronize local tornado test alerts with on-air broadcasts.

The initiative uses MetaPub, a system developed by NPR Distribution, to link text and graphic alerts to over-the-air broadcast messages on mobile phones, HD radios and other devices through online streaming. PRSS will provide hardware, software and training to stations.

The project is backed with $419,000 in funding from CPB, announced in September.

Stations already using the technology report success, according to CPB’s announcement Monday. “We’ve seen the potential of metadata to increase our audience and strengthen our relationship with them,” said Ling Ling Sun, assistant GM of technology services at Nebraska’s NET.

“Love having the programming info on the screen while I’m driving!,” tweeted one NET listener.

CPB VP of Radio Erika Pulley-Hayes said that “integrating digital and broadcast technologies maximizes the potential to help save lives.”

Stations receiving grants broadcast in 10 states across the Midwest, South Central and Gulf Coast, an area known as Tornado Alley for its abundance of twisters.

Correction: The headline on an earlier version of this post said PRSS selected the stations to receive grants. The stations were selected through a process led by CPB.

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