WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 18, 2017 - Patrick Butler, president and chief executive officer of America's Public Television Stations (APTS), issued the following statement today on the actions taken by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC):
“America’s Public Television Stations are most grateful for the two actions taken today by the Federal Communications Commission that will give local public television stations greater opportunities to serve our local communities.
"First is the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on elimination of the main studio rule. We are pleased that the Commission is proposing eliminating the main studio rule. As the FCC rules now require television stations to have online public files, the key reason for the location of the main studio to be accessible for public inspection of the files is no longer relevant.
"This burdensome rule does not recognize that local stations are accessible and responsive to their communities through various means, including social media, email and phone. This rule is particularly burdensome to state networks, whose ‘community of license’ spans an entire state. Eliminating this rule would free up station resources that could be directed for local station services in the areas of education, public safety and civic leadership.
“We also commend the Commission for undertaking a comprehensive review of media regulations to ensure they continue to serve compelling public purposes. Countless rules are decades old, with no relevance in the modern media world. The prudent reform of these rules will give public television stations an opportunity to invest more time and resources in local service and less in ensuring compliance with anachronistic regulations."
“America's Public Television Stations are deeply appreciative of Chairman Pai's and Commissioner O’Rielly’s leadership in initiating these proceedings, and we look forward to making constructive contributions to both of these proceedings.”
America's Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization ensuring a strong and financially sound public television system and helping member stations provide essential public services in education, public safety and civic leadership to the American people. For more information, visit www.apts.org.