You were probably surprised to have heard Marketplace Money in place of All Things Considered last Sunday evening. That's because the Public Radio Satellite System (PRSS), the system NPR uses to get audio from there to VPR, suffered a complete outage of its audio distribution service just before 4 p.m. as the result of a tripped circuit breaker in the power supply chain.
Due to the severity of the outage and some unanticipated problems in transferring operations to the back-up operations center, All Things Considered did not reach VPR, and thanks to the quick response by our board operators, we were able to put on Marketplace Money in its place.
While outages like these are never ideal, technical problems are an occasional part of broadcasting - it's just the nature of an industry that relies heavily on technology. Sometimes, if we're lucky, it becomes a blessing in disguise. As a result of this outage, NPR is working to improve its backup and response plan in the event that this happens again, in order to maintain service with minimal interruption.
VPR is evaluating its backup plan as well by working to keep a ready supply of programming that may be aired in the event that an audio feed from NPR is unavailable. We're also working to improve our communications about such outages to you, our listeners, so we can keep you in the loop as well.