On December 8, 2017, the Order eliminating the FCC’s main studio rule was published in the Federal Register. As a result, the rule change will be effective on January 8, 2018. Requirements associated with the main studio rule, such as having at least two employees (one manager and one staff) present on a full-time basis at the main studio during normal business hours, and the requirement that the main studio have program origination capability, will also be eliminated as of January 8.
Broadcasters will continue to be required to maintain a local or toll-free phone number that will allow local residents to contact the station. Stations that have not yet fully converted to the online public file are required to maintain portions of the public file that are not part of the online public file at a publicly accessible location within the station’s community of license. Stations with existing main studio rule waivers that permit them to maintain their public files at a location outside their community of license will be “grandfathered” and allowed to retain their public files at that location until completion of the station’s transition to the online public file. If a member of the public inquires, stations must promptly provide information regarding the location of the file within one business day of such request.