WKBT News 8 determines cause of strange message about zombies

Published On: Feb 12 2013 10:58:04 AM CST   Updated On: Feb 12 2013 12:24:57 PM CST
LA CROSSE, Wis. -

WKBT News 8 has determined what prompted a strange message about zombies to be broadcast this morning shortly after 7:30 a.m. 

Station managers say it was a mistake made by Z93's morning DJs that caused the problem. Apparently the DJs were joking about a situation elsewhere in which a station Emergency Alert System (EAS) was hacked and a message about zombies was played on the air. When they played the message, it triggered the local EAS system at WKBT News 8 which is linked to Z93. 

"EAS is a nationwide system intended to warn the public in emergency situations. This clearly was a breach in the system and will be thoroughly investigated," said WKBT Station Manager Anne Paape.

Brian Michaels, station manager of Mid-West Family Broadcasting-La Crosse, issued the following statement:

"This morning, Z93 inadvertently triggered an EAS event on WKBT. We apologize for any confusion we may have caused your viewers and certainly didn't intend for this to happen. We've spent time with our engineers this morning to make sure it doesn't happen again. Our programming department has been brought up to speed and we've checked to make sure our EAS equipment is properly programmed. I'm told that the EAS boxes can be programmed to not relay any expired or out-of-market alerts."