A suspicious beeping package forced the evacuation of the offices of Los Angeles news radio station KNX and other CBS radio stations, but it turned out to be a promotional item sent to the Wave radio station — a clock promoting a BET special, part of a box full of promotional clocks.
At about 8:20 a.m., LAPD responded to a beeping package on the second floor of a building in the 5600 block of Wilshire Boulevard. The station's news anchors announced just before 9 a.m. Tuesday that they'd been ordered to leave their Wilshire Boulevard newsroom and studio because of two suspicious packages discovered in the building, one of which was beeping.
“First time that anybody can remember KNX being off the air like this in years and years. No one can figure out — not even an earthquake has knocked us off like this,” said Jonathan Serviss, a morning drive newscast producer at KNX.
Serviss said he tried to keep a skeleton crew in studio to stay on air, but LAPD wouldn’t let anyone stay behind.
“There have been bomb threats before, but we’ve been allowed to keep a skeleton staff to keep the station up and running. This time they seem to be taking it pretty seriously and got us out fairly quickly," Serviss said.
KNX switched listeners to the broadcast feed of its sister station, KCBS radio from San Francisco.
“A couple different [KNX] reporters have been on the phone with KCBS giving reports through that. So it’s this bizarre setup where you’re getting Bay Area news and Bay Area traffic, but L.A. reports," Serviss said.
Los Angeles police spokesman Richard French says a suspicious package that was beeping was found in the lobby on the building's second floor. Firefighters and police responded initially, with the bomb squad arriving around 10 a.m. Authorities allowed staff back in around 10:40 a.m., with anchors back on the air by 10:45 a.m.
The staff of sister station KFWB was also evacuated, KFWB reports, as were other stations housed in that building.
“It’s kinda funny — our parking garage is adjacent to the building, and as we were being evacuated, there was just a flood of cars leaving, so I imagine most people took the opportunity to call it an early Tuesday and took off,” Serviss said.
This story has been updated.
Correction: An earlier verison of this story said that the clock was promoting a Nick Cannon special; it was actually another BET special.