Alabama Alien Stunt Gets National Attention
Some listeners to Shoals Radio's WMSR in Alabama believed aliens were taking over the station. The stunt even had some thinking schools would be attacked so they kept their kids home. Management was trying to bring attention to the station for an upcoming format switch and aired fake conversations between aliens. And attention it got. A ton of buzz resulted from the stunt, even garnering national coverage in the New York Daily News, The Huffington Post's Weird News section and blogs all over the Web. Was this a perfectly executed radio stunt or an over-the-top attempt to call attention to the station by frightening the community? Broadcast attorney John Garziglia tells Radio Ink, "Any stunt or hoax that causes the invocation of law enforcement is a promotion that the FCC severely frowns upon." We'll have more from Garziglia on this story in the headlines Wednesday morning.
PD Brian Rickman told AL.com, "We came up with what we thought was a really fun storyline and that would be that these aliens or star people were hacking into the radio station. The concept being that they heard our frequency several light years away, they didn't like Justin Bieber and the pop music we were playing and they were going to take over the radio station and adjust the format. It's a very innocuous promotion that got blown out of proportion. We thought it was clever."
Law enforcement in the area even added security at schools to down some parents. Rickman told AL.com once the concern began to spread he went into damage control. "My decision was, let's speed up making the aliens friendlier. That was scheduled to happen. The messages we aired were by no means cryptic but I supposed they were almost too well produced. It really did sound like somebody was hacking in. If we made any mistake, I suppose that was it."
The Times Daily in Florence reported that Tuscumbia police chief Tony Logan said chatter on social media is what led to the unfounded concern. Tuscumbia police posted on its Facebook page that the radio promotion was nothing to be concerned about.
Colbert County Schools Superintendent Tony Olivis was critical of the radio station stunt. "At this time in our society, everyone is highly sensitive about school safety. This has caused a knee-jerk reaction from some, and unfortunately that could cause some parents to keep their children at home (today) because of this hoax."
(10/31/2013 7:37:49 PM) |
Ji2VXZ Enjoyed every bit of your blog. Great.
(9/24/2013 6:39:54 AM) |
OQ1C6M Very neat article.Thanks Again. Fantastic.
(9/7/2013 3:34:25 PM) |
QxohQA Thanks a lot for the article post.Thanks Again. Cool.
(9/3/2013 5:20:28 PM) |
I know it was a long time ago (and before my time, too), but doesn't anyone remember radio's role in the "War of the Worlds" hoax back in the 1930's? And there were actually people that jumped out of skyscraper windows in panic that night.
|- Bill B.|
(9/3/2013 2:47:31 PM) |
God I wish I could have been a part of this. This is genius.
|- Paige Nienaber|
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