By Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist Published Mar 06, 2014 at 3:09 PM Photography:

The buzzing, the beeps and the tones.

All of us who grew up in the electronic age know the emergency sounds we hear on TV or the radio preceding some sort of announcement as what was once known as the Emergency Broadcast System.

Now named Emergency Alert System (EAS) to reflect that the alerts are available on other sources like computers and smart phones, what we hear more often than not is only a test. When an emergency in our area does occur, the announcement is usually weather related or may be an Amber alert for a missing child or a child in danger.

But, when used for a way to get your attention for a commercial, and paired with the words, "this is not a test," and "this is not a drill," the government doesn’t look too kindly on it.

On Monday, the FCC levied fines against Viacom, NBC Universal and ESPN for around $2 million for airing a TV spot for the movie "Olympus Has Fallen" last year.

The movie with Gerard Butler was actually one of two – the other "White House Down" – that focused on a terrorist plot to take over the nation’s capitol. The trailer used tones that sounded very much like the ones used by the EAS.

The fines were levied because the spot aired multiple times on multiple channels.

It is easy to complain when an alert drill takes over the audio on a show we are watching – and it is even worse to use it to draw our attention to a movie ad – but I think most of us will be grateful for the EAS if we truly need it.

CASTING CALL: If you, or someone you know, is getting married soon, then this opportunity may be perfect.

Half Yard Productions, the producers behind "Say Yes To The Dress," "Randy To The Rescue" and "I Found The Gown," are working with a cable network to find the "Best in Bridal."

The casting producer wants someone who wants the perfect dress and wants to be in the spotlight all of the time.

"If you have a HUGE personality, a very opinionated entourage, are willing to travel to the greater Chicago area, and would LOVE to be on camera, then email us your contact info (full name, phone number, age, where you live, etc.) and some photos ASAP to

If you end up being cast, make sure to email us here at and I’ll feature your adventure in a story.

SIGNING OFF: NPR reported earlier this week that Carl Kasell would be retiring after five decades in broadcasting. Kasell, known for the better part of 30 years as the voice of NPR News, has found a more comedic role at NPR with the weekly news show, "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!"

"My favorite time at NPR has been ‘Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!’ It was loads of fun and gave me a chance to meet and talk in person to the audiences that I felt I had known for so many years on the air," Kasell said. "I can honestly say I am the luckiest man around to be able to have worked at a job I love for so many years. It's truly been a joy for me."

Kasell will record his final broadcast for "Wait Wait" this spring. Fans can leave messages for Kasell at (888) 924-8924.

Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist

Media is bombarding us everywhere.

Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.

The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.