FCC to require radio stations to have a website

The FCC has proposed a rule that will require all radio stations to have a website and is asking for comments on their rule.

The FCC is owning up to the reality that the main studio requirement is unenforceable. Currently, unless you are a satellite delivered religious broadcast or have an exception for a very unusual reason, radio stations are required to maintain an office and a studio capable of transmitting local programming, staffed by at least two people during regular business hours. One of the purposes of this rule is so that listeners can visit the radio station and demand to see the “public inspection file”, which contains program schedules, information about ways the radio station has operated in the “public interest” and complaints from listeners – in short, it serves no purpose other than to hammer the radio station with massive fines if they’re not maintaining this folder of useless information.

The reality today is many stations are hiding behind a PO Box – there are no employees working during daylight hours, no phone number that anyone answers, and no studio capable of originating local programming, other than maybe a PC in the bedroom with the owner.

The change would require radio stations to place their public inspection file on a website on the Internet.

Back in the 1990s, the more ignorant people in Radio used to mock the World Wide Web as something that would never catch on. The folks (about 10 %) who still don’t have a website are among the most ignorant people in America, and probably don’t even deserve to retain a radio license.

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