By Megan McCluskey
August 16, 2019

Both Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Walking Dead have been hit with six-figure fines by the Federal Communications Commission for misusing emergency alert system tones.

In a statement released Thursday, the FCC announced that it had reached settlements with several companies, including ABC and AMC, that total $600,000 in civil penalties. ABC will have to pay $395,000 for an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! that used the Wireless Emergency Alert tone three times in a sketch mocking the presidential alert system. AMC will pay $104,000 for a February episode of The Walking Dead that broadcast an Emergency Alert System tone twice

In a public notice that was also released on Thursday, the FCC expressed concern that the use of the tones “for nonauthorized purposes—such as commercial or entertainment purposes—can confuse people or lead to ‘alert fatigue,’ whereby the public becomes desensitized to the alerts, leading people to ignore potentially life-saving warnings and information.”

Animal Planet’s Lone Star Law and Meruelo Radio Holdings were also fined for similar violations.

Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com.

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