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Posts Tagged ‘Julius Genachowski’

Tom Wheeler Confirmed as Head of FCC

wheeler_usaTom Wheeler has been confirmed by the Senate as FCC Chairman.

According to The New York Times, “The vote came after Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, lifted a hold earlier in the day on the nomination of Tom Wheeler as chairman, with Mr. Cruz saying he had received assurances from him that the commission would not immediately pursue changes for political advertising on television.”

Along with Wheeler’s confirmation, the Senate OK’d President Obama’s nomination of Michael O’Reilly as FCC commissioner. The two seats had been vacant since previous chairman Julius Genachowski and commissioner Robert McDowell both stepped down in March.

Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn congratulated the two on their confirmation, “The FCC family enthusiastically welcomes both Tom and Michael. I look forward to working with them, along with my current colleagues at the Commission, to further communications policies that advance the public interest, bolster competition, empower consumers, and spur new waves of innovation that grow our economy and create jobs.”

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President Obama Nominates Venture Capitalist as FCC Chairman

President Obama has nominated Tom Wheeler, a venture capitalist and former cable and wireless lobbyist, to head the Federal Communications Commission.

If confirmed by the Senate, Wheeler would succeed Julius Genachowski, who is exiting his post to join the Aspen Institute. Obama formally nominated Wheeler Tuesday afternoon, noting the FCC “sits at the center of a communications universe that is growing and changing faster than you can tweet.”

“Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame,” Obama said. “For more than 30 years, Tom’s been at the forefront of some of the very dramatic changes that we’ve seen in the way we communicate and how we live our lives.”

Wheeler has served as president of of the National Cable Television Association and the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association.

FCC Chairman Genachowski Announces Departure

Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has announced plans to step down from his post in the coming weeks.

“Over the past four years, we’ve focused the FCC on broadband, wired and wireless, working to drive economic growth and improve the lives of all Americans,” Genachowski told his staff “And thanks to you, the Commission’s employees, we’ve taken big steps to build a future where broadband is ubiquitous and bandwidth is abundant, where innovation and investment are flourishing.

Genachowski was nominated by President Obama and confirmed for the post by the Senate in 2009. Read more

FCC Takes Next Step In Spectrum Sell-Off

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, according to GigaOM.com, is planning to circulate his ideas to the commission today on how they might conduct the so-called incentive auctions where broadcasters can sell off their airwaves, or spectrum, to appease increasing consumer demand for wireless broadband.

The FCC is also expected to release its tentative agenda today for its meeting in three weeks.  That agenda is expected to include discussion about the incentive auctions approved by Congress in February.

Wireless carriers say they’re running out of spectrum space to fuel the increasing consumer appetite for data streaming and wireless services offered by smart phones and tablets.  In response, Congress is encouraging broadcasters to sell off unused spectrum to wireless carriers who can then use it to ease their broadband crunch.

Read more

American Cable Association Blasts KMSB-KOLD Shared Services Agreement

The American Cable Association is condemning the recently announced shared services agreement between Belo’s KMSB and Raycom Media’s KOLD.

Belo is shutting down news operations at KMSB, a Fox-affiliate, and turning those duties over to CBS-affiliate KOLD.  Dozens of KMSB employees are expected to lose their jobs as a result of the agreement.

“With breathtaking disdain for the public interest, Raycom is seizing effective control of Tucson’s CBS and Fox affiliates,” ACA president and CEO Matthew Polka said in a statement. Read more

LIN Media Pulls 27 Stations from DISH

At midnight on Friday, LIN Media pulled 27 of its stations off of DISH systems in 17 markets. The black-out came as LIN was unable to reach a new retrans agreement with DISH before the previous contract expired on the 4th.

“We only want what is fair for our local stations,” Vincent Sadusky, LIN’s president and CEO, said as the company announced the black-out. “We will continue negotiating with DISH so we may reach an agreement.”

DISH shot back on Friday, saying that LIN is seeking an “outrageous” 175% rate increase in the first year.

“LIN Media is simply being greedy, insisting on a rate increase so immense that DISH Network and its customers couldn’t possible absorb it,” said Dave Shull, senior vice president of programming for DISH.

The black-out, which includes stations in Providence, Buffalo, and Indianapolis, began just as the FCC was working out new rules to avoid such extreme negotiating tactics. Read more

Comcast-NBCU Deal Goes Through

Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal was approved by the FCC and the Justice Department on Tuesday, clearing the way for the formation of a massive multimedia company that spans the cable-broadcast divide.

The FCC voted 4-1 in approving the merger, which is now expected to close on January 28.

The approval comes with conditions attached to it, especially surrounding the growing world of online video.  FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement:

After a thorough review, we have adopted strong and fair merger conditions to ensure this transaction serves the public interest. The conditions include carefully considered steps to ensure that competition drives innovation in the emerging online video marketplace.

The move is not without its critics. Three Republican congressmen, including the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Fred Upton, released a statement blasting the review process.

“We are glad Comcast can now get back to doing business and creating jobs, but the price of doing so should not be coerced compliance with the heavy-handed tactics of an overreaching FCC,” Upton, along with Greg Walden of Oregon and Lee Terry of Nebraska, said in the statement.

Smith Media Stations in Utica and Burlington Return to TWC Systems as Retrans Deal Reached

Smith Media-owned stations in Utica, NY and Burlington, VT returned to Time Warner Cable systems over the weekend as the companies reached an agreement on a new retransmission contract.

Smith Media had pulled its northeastern stations–Fox-affiliate WFFF and ABC-affiliate WVNY in Burlington-Plattsburgh and NBC-affiliate WKTV in Utica–from TWC on December 15.  Smith Media and TWC finally concluded their negotiations on Saturday evening.

Vic Vetters, Smith Media vice president and group manager, was happy to put the negotiations in the past. WKTV, and the other stations, he said, “can now focus singularly on what we do best.”

During the blackout, several local lawmakers put pressure on the FCC to try and speed up the negotiations. State Senator Joseph A. Griffo; Utica Mayor David R. Roefaro; Assemblywoman RoAnn M. Destito; and Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. wrote a letter to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, emphasizing their concern that the blackout limited local news.

While Smith Media stations were off of its cables systems, TWC imported Utica ABC-affiliate WUTR and Watertown, NY Fox-affiliate WNYF to Burlington and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton NBC-affiliate WBRE to Utica.