Was fortunate to work in radio before “consolidation.” Even small towns might have two or three radio stations, each with different owners and management. After the rules changed, it soon became common for one company to own/operate ALL radio stations and automation (some software on a computer back in the 80s) made it possible to get rid of lots of on-air staff. But to call yourself a “Hooterville radio station,” you had to have a studio in Hooterville. No longer, it seems.
“Stations will still be required to keep a toll-free or local number staffed during normal business hours.”
Where a town once had a radio station with a tower and a transmitter and some DJs and maybe a news guy or two… now has an answering service.
“Because of the rule change, Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy predicted that “local news production could be moved to places such as New York and Washington as the big networks buy up local stations.”
Truth be told, that’s been happening for a long time. Some of that blood is on my hands but it’s an old story and too long to share. Let’s just say we stretched the definition of “local” to the breaking point. Glad I didn’t miss local radio when it was still local.