The FCC eliminated its broadcast main studio rule: a requirement that a broadcast station maintain a main studio in close proximity to its city of license that is open to the public and staffed during normal business hours. The action came on a 3-2 vote with the Democrats, Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn dissenting.
Main Studio rule is nearly 80 years old, and was implemented to facilitate input from community members and the station’s participation in community activities. The commission’s new order retains the requirement that stations maintain a local or toll-free telephone number to ensure consumers have ready access to their local stations.
In ending the rule, the FCC said it “recognizes that today the public can access information via broadcasters’ online public file, and stations and community members can interact directly through alternative means such as e-mail, social media, and the telephone.” Given this, the agency found that requiring broadcasters to maintain a main studio is outdated and unnecessarily burdensome.