“In one of his first official acts, President Trump designated Commissioner Ajit Pai as the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission,” Forbes reports. “He is the first newly appointed Republican chairman since Kevin Martin nearly 12 years ago.”
Forbes notes that the selection of Pai, an Obama appointee to the FCC who has been on the panel since May 2012, has prompted questions about the direction of the FCC.
“Until recent years, the FCC was not a partisan agency. Having served with commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Michael O’Rielly, Chairman Pai is not expected to be particularly partisan,” Forbes notes, adding: “It is impossible to predict exactly where Chairman Pai will go with specific future policies such as network neutrality, particular mergers, and the aftermath of the disappointing and flawed broadcaster spectrum auction. But it is easy to describe broad themes of a Chairman Pai: follow the law, less regulation, and a folksy approach to government.”
B&C notes that the National Association of Broadcasters has been supportive of the selection of Pai.
The B&C report quotes NAB President Gordon Smith saying: “Without qualification, NAB supports President Trump’s selection of Ajit Pai to the position of FCC chairman. Ajit Pai is a known quantity who brings integrity, good humor and a fierce intellect to the Commission. We look forward to working with him and his colleagues on a pro-growth FCC agenda that benefits tens of millions of Americans who rely on free broadcast radio and TV for the most popular content, credible news, and lifeline local emergency alerts.”