• Hugh McPherson

FCC Does Away With Main Studio Rule

Portions from Inside Radio

"A local phone number is all that’ll be needed in the near future for broadcasters in their community of license. In a 3-2 vote the Federal Communications Commission has approved the reversal of the 1939 decision that has required stations to operate a main studio within 25 miles of a station’s city of license. It has also done away with the requirement that the main studio have full-time management and staff present during normal business hours. The tradeoff for that flexibility is a dictate that’ll be easily fulfilled by the phone company. The FCC says any station that moves out of its city of license will need to maintain a local telephone number in their community of license or else have a toll-free number."

With services like Google Voice, this is accomplished very easily. The FCC is beginning to recognize the digital world we live in and making changes that allow radio companies to adjust to this digital transition. This could also lead to radio owners to grow.

"This is just the latest evidence that the FCC is matching its words with actions when it comes to removing outdated and unnecessary rules,” chair Ajit Pai told reporters after Tuesday’s vote. He said technology not only allows a station to produce local programming from just about anywhere, but the change should help broadcasters operating in small towns and rural areas where the cost of compliance—which can range from $20,000 per year to several hundred thousand dollars—was enough to convince some owners from signing on new stations.

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