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Cable warnings need work


Three Detroit-area cable TV companies are restructuring their emergency warning systems after more than half a million people lost audio and/or video this month, when the cable systems broke into broadcast programming with weather-related information.

Broadcasters and subscribers complained that the technology failed or cable operators merely preempted with National Weather Service warnings more extensive information provided by local stations. The cable operators, MediaOne, Comcast and Time Warner, have said they were following federal rules and are working with emergency authorities to work out kinks in their systems. One Detroit broadcaster credited the cable ops with quick corrective action, based on a more recent storm.