Request for waiver of the main studio rule by WBRX (FM), Patton, PA -- February 26, 1996

                          WASHINGTON, D.C.  20554

                                                     IN REPLY REFER TO:
                                                         STOP CODE 1800B3  

John J. McVeigh, Esq.
Bernstein & McVeigh
1818 N. Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20036

                                             WBRX(FM), Patton, PA 
                                             Request for Waiver of
                                             the Main Studio Rule 

Dear Counsel:

     This refers to the request dated March 3, 1995, filed on
behalf of Sherlock Broadcasting, Inc. ("Sherlock"), that the
Commission waive its main studio rule, 47 C.F.R. Sec. 73.1125, 
in order to permit station WBRX(FM), Patton, Pennsylvania to
collocate its main studio with commonly owned FM station WBXQ,
Cresson, Pennsylvania, which is outside of WBRX(FM)'s principal
community contour, ("70 dbu contour") but is within the principal
community contour of its booster station WBRX-FM1.

     In support of the instant request, Sherlock asserts that 
WBRX(FM)'s proposed use of the WBXQ studio would be consistent
with the intent of the main studio rule because "the booster and
the primary (WBXQ) city-grade service areas are ... equivalent to
that encompassed by one aggregate principal community contour."  
Sherlock further asserts that one studio in the WBXQ/WBRX-FM1
city grade overlap area could serve both stations, ensuring the
economic viability of station WBRX(FM), which was silent when
Sherlock acquired it.  Sherlock argues that collocation of its
main studio would help relieve the station of the financial
difficulties inherent to small markets.

     The purpose of the main studio rule is to ensure that
broadcast stations fulfill their obligation to meet the needs and
interest of the residents of the community of license.  See Main
Studio and Program Origination Rules for Radio and Television
Broadcast Stations  ("Report and Order"), 2 FCC Rcd 3215, 3217-18
(1987), mod. in part, 3 FCC Rcd 5024 (1988).  The Commission has
found that allowing a station to locate its main studio outside
the community of license but within the principal community
contour would achieve this goal, while also providing
flexibility to the station.  An FM station may obtain a waiver to
locate its main studio outside the station's principal community
only if good cause for doing so exists.  See 47 C.F.R. Sec.
73.1125(a)(4).  To demonstrate "good cause" applicants must show
that there are no suitable studio locations anywhere within the
station's principal community contour or that other "uniquely
compelling reasons" support a waiver.  See Report and Order,
supra.  In addition to this showing, the applicant must show that
a waiver would serve the public interest.  See, e.g., Maines
Broadcasting, Inc., 8 FCC Rcd 5501 (1993); WAVY Television, Inc.,
102 FCC 2d 1538 (1985).

     We believe that the circumstances presented here do not
warrant a waiver of the rule.  Sherlock has made no attempt to
demonstrate that there are no suitable main studio locations
within WBRX(FM)'s actual principal community contour, and we do
not agree that the principal community contour may be expanded
for purposes of the main studio rule by reference to the booster
station's principal community contour.  The rules which provide
for the location of a booster within the broader 60 dbu contour
of the primary station respond to topographical and other
limiting factors which confront affected broadcasters and allow
them to supply "fill-in" service to remote service areas.  Such
rules must be distinguished from the main studio rule, which
limits the location of the main studio to the principal
community, or 70 dbu contour area, in order to promote and ensure
the accessibility of the station to its listening audience. 
Sherlock asserts that the Commission has waived the one-to-a-
market rule to allow the acquisition of a "failed station," i.e.
one that has been silent for more than four months.  However, the
Commission has not adopted a similar "failed station" waiver
standard applicable to the main studio rule.  In this regard,
Sherlock's general assertions concerning economic difficulties
facing small market stations are insufficient to demonstrate
uniquely compelling circumstances that would justify a waiver of
the rule.  Moreover, Sherlock has failed to provide documentation relative to the
financial difficulties of the station to support its waiver request.

     In view of the above, Sherlock's request for waiver of 47
C.F.R. Sec. 73.1125 is, in all respects, DENIED.


                         Linda Blair, Acting Chief
                         Audio Services Division
                         Mass Media Bureau