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Listen: The FCC is ending this old rule for TV, radio – what does it mean?

A multi channel audio mixer on a television station with shallow depth of field. Getty Images / Mihail_P

What happened?

After nearly 80 years, federal regulators have ended the rule that TV and radio stations must keep a main studio in or near the communities where they report local news. The Federal Communications Commission voted Tuesday to eliminate the rule from 1939, with Chairman Ajit Pai saying that the requirement was no longer needed when stations can contact people by phone or online.

Is this good or bad for the news industry?

The supporting argument is that ending this rule will give radio and TV stations more flexibility; Pai said it will get rid of “major costs” for broadcasters. Critics of the decision say it will let bigger stations lay off local staff, distance themselves from communities and dictate local news without being invested.

Doc’s take:

On today’s show, Doc tapped his years in radio to analyze what the elimination of the rule means.

“I’d be willing to bet this was pushed by broadcasters who want to cut their expenses even more,” Doc said. “It is showing we are taking another significant step toward the future of media and broadcasting and social media.”

To see more from Doc, visit his channel on TheBlaze and listen live to “The Morning Blaze with Doc Thompson” weekdays 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET, only on TheBlaze Radio Network.

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