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MMTC Praises FCC Proposal to End Main Studio Rule

Says rule was archaic and a disadvantage to minority broadcasters

On Thursday the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would eliminate the Main Studio Rule. In response, the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council released a statement supporting the commission’s decision.

The MMTC wrote that the FCC’s action will “favorably impact minority broadcasters by removing and archaic rule that historically has worked to their disadvantage.”

The Main Studio Rule dates back to 1946 and required that all full-power broadcasters maintain a studio either within their city of license, or at another site either within 25 miles of the city of license or within the city-grade contour of any station licensed to the same city of license as the station.

MMTC filed comments a year ago to the FCC urging it to repeal the Main Studio Rule, citing that the rule “locks in the present effects of past discrimination against minority licensees.” The organization noted that minority and ethnic broadcasters were at a disadvantage to broadcasters who were able to enter the industry earlier, as well as larger broadcasters who had a single studio for all of their stations. The MMTC also said the main studio staffing requirements were detrimental and no longer served a purpose once unattended station operation was permitted via another FCC rule.

“The Commission’s NPRM—adopted today by a vote of 3-0—is a welcome step in the direction of removing this disproportionately unfavorable, anti-minority market entry barrier,” MMTC wrote in its statement.

The full statement is available here.