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FCC drops main studio rule

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:22 pm
by RodeoJack
So... question(s).

Given the current state of enforcement, lets consider a station that's dropped its studio and is feeding from an IP box at the transmitter. EAS is there, too. How would an inspector go about arranging a spot check? Call the national office and ask for an appointment?

I didn't see anything that would change the requirement to review EAS logs, quarterly tower lighting checks, etc. If there's no studio, will we keep all that at the transmitter?... or maybe in a Dropbox file someplace?

???

Re: FCC drops main studio rule

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:00 pm
by kkiddkkidd
Or more likely an extension of the OPIF system... Instant access to EAS and other required logs.

Re: FCC drops main studio rule

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:04 pm
by kkiddkkidd
I am seeing the removal of the main studio rule as a potential plus for real local operators. The big guys may be able to make big agency money operating out of a big warehouse somewhere across the country but the small, mom & pops will serve the local area and reap a profit for doing so.

Re: FCC drops main studio rule

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:09 pm
by TPT
Well, everyone needs to upload their public file to the FCC "cloud" by March, so there is not much interest of the inspectors in anything else.

Most current EAS decoders keep a log--so that is easily retrieved. Tower lights aren't usually an issue unless they are out--then you would have the on-line report to the FAA on that. I suppose there will still be some requirement for a control point--but that could be an office anywhere, and the logs for several station kept on computer

Re: FCC drops main studio rule

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:24 pm
by Deep Thought
The only real effect of this is to get rid of the minimum-wage "management presence" sitting in an office somewhere. The program origination requirements for the main "studio" went out the window almost two decades ago, and since the "studio" could have been 25 miles (or more) from the community of license the rule made no sense in a localism context anyway.

I haven't read the R&O yet but for the most part the station "control point" has been the engineer's phone for years now. Unless the station is stupid enough to pull all their programming "off the bird" at the transmitter there still will need to be a location originating programming, cutting and inserting spots, etc. With the widespread availability of stable AoIP products this opens up some interesting possibilities for local stations to really be visible instead of tucked in the back of a dying shopping mall.

Re: FCC drops main studio rule

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:14 am
by KPJL FM
Deep Thought wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:24 pm
I haven't read the R&O yet but for the most part the station "control point" has been the engineer's phone for years now. Unless the station is stupid enough to pull all their programming "off the bird" at the transmitter there still will need to be a location originating programming, cutting and inserting spots, etc. With the widespread availability of stable AoIP products this opens up some interesting possibilities for local stations to really be visible instead of tucked in the back of a dying shopping mall.
Or a garage in an industrial park. The need for a local office to do 'production' is long gone, with file servers and minor automation equipment a station can run off the bird 22 hours/day and have two hours of 'local origination'. Like were I work.

Re: FCC drops main studio rule

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:48 pm
by Shane
I suppose there will still be some requirement for a control point
why do we need this anymore. As Mark said, the control point has in reality been the engineer’s phone for the last 20 years. Another rule needing brought up to date.

Re: FCC drops main studio rule

Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:28 am
by Dale H. Cook
Shane wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:48 pm
... the control point has in reality been the engineer’s phone for the last 20 years ...
Not for my contract customers. I do not serve as DCO, and do not allow the R/C to call me, for any stations where I am not employed full time.

Re: FCC drops main studio rule

Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:28 am
by kkiddkkidd
Dale H. Cook wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:28 am
Not for my contract customers. I do not serve as DCO, and do not allow the R/C to call me, for any stations where I am not employed full time.
I myself refuse to be DCO for ANY client. I have found my name on dozens of DCO postings over the years and immediately took it down and told management that they couldn't afford to keep my name posted as DCO since the rule requires it to be an employee OR contracted DCO. My DCO contract charges are HIGH, HUGE, MAJORLY...

On the other hand, I do a lot of DCO like work for clients as needed to straighten out messes.

Even though I consider myself a contract engineer, I have exactly zero clients under contract and like it that way. For many years I had several contract clients and found that as my AM project work load grew, maintenance contracts greatly limited the projects that I could accept. My largest contract client was bought out by Cumulus and terminated in a money saving frenzy and the last 2 small contracts finally decided that they would rather pay T&M (and still do).

Re: FCC drops main studio rule

Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:47 am
by kkiddkkidd
Dale H. Cook wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:28 am
Not for my contract customers. I do not serve as DCO, and do not allow the R/C to call me, for any stations where I am not employed full time.
On the R/C issue, for years I was the #1 number in far too many R/C's. There was no sleep around the Kidd household on stormy nights as the lines swept across the n.MS, TN, N.AL areas triggering dozens of warnings, alerts and faults.

I finally got enough various station staff trained on the RC operation and either removed my number or moved it down in the call list. The web R/C's and smart TX user interfaces have really made the training of non-tech people easier.

Re: FCC drops main studio rule

Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:12 pm
by Lee_Wheeler
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

I have some clients that have small regional clusters of stations but since they are usually Class As or C3s, and they are more than 25 miles apart, they have to maintain studios and staff in each town even though the sales staff and the real management is all pretty much run out of one centrally located building. This can definitely help them and I have no doubt that their commitment to things local (Weather / News / Community Events) will remain unchanged. In small markets the local stuff is what counts the most. In their case I'm sure they could roll some of the overhead savings into replacing their relic McMartin and CCA transmitters.

...Lee