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Need an FCC Chairman? Try the Classifieds

December 2, 2008 11:11 AM

What’s the best way to find a new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission? How about a classified ad?

Free Press, a public-interest group, is running a tongue-in-cheek classified ad for FCC chairman this morning, saying it wants to drive home the message both of the post’s importance and the need to have someone who represents the public and not just the media industry.

Today’s ad ran in the classified sections of the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Politico.com and TheHill.com. It makes reference to some of current FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s moves, among them sponsoring a NASCAR car to promote the digital TV transition. The car crashed in two of the three races in which the FCC sponsored it.

“Help Wanted: FCC Chairman,” says the ad.

“The American people seek a new leader at the Federal Communications Commission to take media and technology policy into the 21st century.

“This job requires a strong commitment to protecting the open Internet, ensuring fast and affordable Internet access for all Americans, and diversifying media ownership.

“Applicant must be willing to hold long and unruly public hearings and enjoy arcane telecom banter. Wardrobe malfunctions, NASCAR wreckage and fleeting expletives are discouraged.

“Public interest background strongly preferred. Industry lobbyists need not apply.”

The ad ends with a link to the group’s Web page. Free Press said it had had more than 50 responses to the ad by 2 p.m. EST.

Josh Silver, the group’s executive director, said the ad wasn’t meant to suggest any unhappiness with President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team, but to drive home a message.

“We want to remind the policymakers at the White House that having a chairman with a public interest is a priority,” he said. “This is really an effort to make sure they know that we, the public, are watching.

—Ira Teinowitz

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