City of license

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Individual television station channels, as well as radio stations, all have a city of license. This was originally created to define what city the station would serve. Over the decades, this term has become less meaningful, as power increases have allowed stations to cater to a much more populated city within their boosted signal. For example, WPXA is Atlanta, Georgia's Ion affiliate, but it is licensed to Rome, GA. For a while, the FCC mandated that a station must create content to continue serving its city of license, but that has now been done away with. These days, the city of license is mainly a strategical measure taken by broadcasters to maneuver their signal, and allow the best possible signal penetration.

The city of license is required to be within the station's broadcasting range. It is tied to a station's frequency and transmitter, and can only be changed through a construction permit.