Federal Communications Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

53 Federal Communications Law Journal 469 (2001)


Localism, the communications law policy that requires spectrum licensees to serve the needs of local communities, represents a bedrock concept in the Communications Act and the Federal Communications Commission’s jurisprudence. The Commission’s sixty-year-old main studio rule provides a vivid example of this principle. Broadcasters often find compliance with this rule difficult and an exercise in form over substance, raising legitimate questions about the continued need and rationale for the rule. This Article examines the rule’s evolution and its current problematic state, and analyzes whether its modification or elimination would better conserve the resources of both broadcasters and the Commission, without having any detrimental impact on the public interest. The Article concludes that the main studio rule should be abolished or, alternatively, recast into a more limited and precise form.