WBAP Announces Death of George H.W. Bush, Quickly Realizes He's Not Actually Dead [Updated]

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Update at 3:03 p.m.: Hadley gave us a call back a moment ago to explain the situation, which he characterized as a huge mistake.

"As every news organization will do, we get our obituaries ready to go for people who aren't doing well," Hadley said.

In this case, there were the reports that Bush had been transferred to the ICU, so the news team prepared an email blast to be ready for when Bush died. A bit macabre, perhaps, but standard practice.

Hadley says there was a problem with the email system that, unbeknownst to the staff, caused the message to be sent to the station's email distribution list. They didn't realize what had happened until 30 minutes later, when the switchboard began lighting up with callers.

"We would never, obviously, do that on purpose," Hadley said. "We were obviously mortified. It's one of those things you wish you could undo and go back in time take back."

He stressed that the news was never read on the radio, and that the station was able to correct the mistake after the email had been sent to about a third of the station's email subscribers.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson

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