FCC lifts local control rule for radio stations

(Source: The Washington Post)

Federal regulators have voted to eliminate a longstanding rule covering radio and television stations, in a move that could ultimately reshape the nation’s media landscape.

The regulation, which was first adopted almost 80 years ago, requires broadcasters to have a physical studio in or near the areas where they have a license to transmit TV or radio signals. Known as the “main studio rule,” the regulation ensured that residents of a community could have a say in their local broadcast station’s operations.

Tuesday’s vote by the Federal Communications Commission lifts that requirement. With the rise of social media, the agency said, consumers now have other ways to get in touch with their local broadcasters.

“Additionally, technology allows broadcast stations to produce local news even without a nearby studio,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.

But that same technological capability could prompt large media titans to take over small, local TV and radio stations, turning them into megaphones blasting content developed for a national audience rather than a local one, according to critics.[…]

Click here to read the full article at The Washington Post.

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5 thoughts on “FCC lifts local control rule for radio stations

  1. Kire

    I live in a semi-rural part of California. The AM/FM bands are full of religious stations, coorporate owned and programmed, rock, easy listening music, and foriegn language stations that i probably would find interesting if i understood Lao/hmong or hindi.
    40 years ago I could put up a good aerial and pull in listenable FM signals from Los Angeles-180 miles away. No more due to the “opening up” of new allocations that went mostly to medium small religious broadcasters.
    Only on shortwave do i find any sort of interesting programming and that is because it originates half way around the world.
    I think radio is killing itself thru mediocre and boring content. The fcc may even want radio to die so they can auction off spectrum for more lucrative endeavors. What is sad to me is that there are so many talented engineers, dj’s, and even businessmen and women who understand and love radio, radio could be so much.

  2. Joe

    “But that same technological capability could prompt large media titans to take over small, local TV and radio stations, turning them into megaphones blasting content developed for a national audience rather than a local one…”

    Hey, what could possibly go wrong with this, under the current administration?… :/

  3. John Figliozzi

    Another sop to the large group owners whose only intent is to turn radio completely into a commodity the sole use of which is to provide financial returns for investors. Service be damned. Ajit Pai has long been a shill for NAB and Wall Street interests and will preside over the continuing decline of AM and FM radio in the United States. As a sidenote, Pat’s solution to interference problems on AM–problems largely of the FCC’s own making through failure to enforce its own regulations–is to create more interference on FM by expanding use of FM translators by AM licensees. Pai’s FCC also will provide another textbook case of the end game of regulatory capture by the industries it is supposed to oversee and control for the public interest.

  4. Tom Reitzel

    The FCC has been off the rails of their primary function, i.e. mitigating interference, for a long, long time. I’ll say it again, the FCC does NOT need an attorney as chairman. ONLY an engineer should be chairman of the FCC, but government has politicized everything. Government IS the problem and always WILL be the problem. It’s time to seriously ask, is the FCC viable since issues of interference are secondary concerns and issues of politics are primary concerns? Show me an engineer as chairman of the FCC again and I might reconsider … for a time.

    1. Karl Keller

      Thanks Tom, I couldn’t have expressed the problem better myself. Bean counters and lawyers have all but destroyed the domestic broadcast and manufacturing industries. If we can’t have an engineer as the head of the FCC, who’ll address the horrendous QRM problem that just keeps getting worse as manufacturers find ways to shave pennies here and pennies there, perhaps the Trump administration should just close down the FCC, and we’ll go “wild, wild west”.


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