By John Eggerton
Broadcasting & Cable
A politically divided FCC has voted to eliminate the main studio rule. The vote was 3-2 with the two Democrats strongly dissenting.
That was the almost eight-decade old requirement that broadcasters, radio and TV, maintain a main studio in or near their community of license.
The FCC voted unanimously last May to propose eliminating the almost eight decades old rule. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai had said it had become outdated because in the digital age the community has access and can engage with stations via social media or email without having a physical studio nearby.
He also said maintaining a physical address is an expense better put to other uses, like adding more local programming. Broadcasters have said that expense can range from $20,000 a year to several hundred thousand dollars.
Stations are still required to have a local, toll-free telephone number, and to maintain any portion of their public files that is not online at a publicly accessible location within their community of license.
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