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Do Radio Stations Even Need a Separate Place For Studios Anymore?


Under a change adopted by the FCC last fall, stations will no longer be required to abide by the decades-old main studio rule.

In a 3-2 vote in late October 2017 the FCC approved the reversal of the 1939 decision that has required stations to operate a main studio within 25 miles of a station’s city of license. It also did away with the requirement that the main studio have full-time management and staff present during normal business hours. The trade off for that flexibility is a dictate that’ll be easily fulfilled by the phone company. The FCC says any station that moves out of its city of license will need to maintain a local telephone number in their community of license or else have a toll-free number.

If you operate a radio station especially if it's an internet or LPFM station, why spend thousands of dollars on renting expensive space when you can now run the station from a small studio or small space within your home? The days of rooms of equipment are gone. Computer programs can run radio automation, you can do live shows and voicetracking directly from your computer, you can set the system up to take and receive phone calls, you can maintain your entire musical and audio library on the computer and even purchase a plugin that processes the sound just like expensive processing equipment used by most traditional radio stations. This equipment costs thousands of dollars where a plug in can cost as little as $40 and provide you with the same "big sound!"

Think out of the box especially if you don't have a budget. Some perceive that running the station from an expensive facility will attract listeners to come into the station and pay a visit. Bottom line.......no one is going to visit you. Most people are just not interested in seeing how a radio station works! Your content is key.

You can even do interviews and some talk shows from a remote area. A laptop,small mixer and microphone is all you'll need. You can record interviews by taking the equipment to the guest instead of the guest coming to you. I once had a fitness feature on my station. I would take my mic and computer to the gym and interview a trainer or specialist in a quiet place in the comfort of their facility. I would then enter the interview into the radio automation system.

If money is an issue, don't spend where you don't have to. We have many other expenses to worry about. Save where you can!!