The FCC is swiftly changing national media policy. What does that mean on the local level?

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The Federal Communications Commission’s anticipated decision on net neutrality has (rightfully) garnered a lot of publicity and scrutiny. The FCC’s repeal of different regulations earlier this fall, however, could reshape a news source often left out of predictions of the industry’s future: local TV newsrooms. When the announcement came in late October that the FCC was killing the main studio rule — no longer requiring AM, FM, and TV stations to maintain a primary studio in or near their local community of broadcast — and the November rollback of broadcast ownership rules in a shift toward greater industry consolidation, it became clear that the local news landscape could be significantly altered yet again. “This current iteration of the FCC is on this deregulatory path,” said Christopher Ali, an assistant professor of telecommunications policy at the University of Virginia. “The main studio rule was one of the last bastions of localism regulation we have…Everyone keeps saying local is important. Even the FCC keeps saying this. But they’re eliminating the rules that protect localism.”


The FCC is swiftly changing national media policy. What does that mean on the local level?