Logo

Genachowski at FCC: Advocacy Groups Applaud

Jan 13, 2009  •  Post A Comment

President-elect Obama’s choice of Julius Genachowski to head the Federal Communications Commission is being greeted with rave reviews from advocacy groups and some people who have worked with him. Industry groups also are welcoming the selection.
Some who know Mr. Genachowski predict he will bring a marked change in policy and style from current FCC chairman Kevin Martin.
“We are going to see an overarching strategic agenda, clear goals and strategy for meeting those goals,” said Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge. Ms. Sohn worked with Mr. Genachowski on an advisory committee on the public interest obligations of digital TV broadcasters, and has known him for 15 years.
While she predicted Mr. Genachowski will bring major policy changes–especially in pushing media diversity and ownership issues and in seeing that Internet service providers don’t favor some content providers over others—she predicted the biggest change would be that FCC policy offices would have far greater authority to make decisions.
“He’s not just a public servant. He was in business. He knows how to manage. I do see a more decentralized management style that leaves a lot of the details to [senior FCC officials],” she said. She contrasted that style with that of Mr. Martin, who has been accused of micromanaging agency decisions.
Former FCC chairman Bill Kennard, now managing director of the Carlyle Group, called the choice of Mr. Genachowski “brilliant.”
“I think he will be an extraordinary chairman. No chairman in recent history will come to job with as relevant experience. He knows the FCC well. He knows the Internet. And he knows the president very well and will be able to carry out his policies. It’s an inspired choice. It’s wonderful.”
Mr. Kennard predicted that Mr. Genachowski will move quickly to open up the FCC’s policy deliberations to greater public scrutiny, but pointed for other guidance to the Obama campaign’s technology and innovation plan, which was largely written by Mr. Genachowski.
“Clearly there will be profound differences, reflecting the difference in this administration. This administration embraces technology and is looking to make technology a centerpiece of its governing and the economy,” said Mr. Kennard.
The expected appointment—the Obama transition office still hasn’t confirmed or announced it—was praised by National Association of Broadcasters President-CEO David K. Rehr as a “superb choice.”
“Julius Genachowski has a keen intellect, a passion for public service, and a deep understanding of the important role that free and local broadcasting plays in American life,” he said.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., also praised the appointment.
“There is no question that Julius Genachowski has the experience and credentials to successfully reinvigorate the FCC as chair. I commend President-elect Obama for nominating someone who is completely committed to making technology accessible to all Americans, and I look forward to working with him on the many telecommunications challenges that the commission and the committee will face in the months and years ahead.”
Leslie Harris, president-CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology, a group working for an open Internet, said she is confident Mr. Genachowski will be a chairman who understands the importance of the open Internet and the need to encourage and support innovation.”
She also cited Mr. Genachowski’s Internet and venture capital background, predicting it would bring a new sensitivity to the risk that FCC policies and regulations could harm upstart innovators that are central to the culture and development of the Internet.
“As the commission pursues its focus on established and traditional telecommunications companies, it needs to be aware of how its work might impact new and developing technologies,” Harris said.
Mr. Genachowski, a lawyer and friend of Mr. Obama since their Harvard University days, is a former FCC chief counsel and co-founder and managing director of Rock Creek Ventures, a venture capital firm. He was a key telecommunications and technology adviser to the Obama campaign, helping to craft the extensive technology and innovation plan on the campaign’s Web site. He has also been a member of the Obama transition team.
Besides supporting rollout of higher speed Internet, that plan calls for more diversity in media ownership and for the government to step in to assure that Internet service providers don’t give favored sites a faster path to consumers’ doorstep—so-called net neutrality. It suggested that concerns about children and the media be answered by giving parents more control, hinting that the FCC would be less active in indecency enforcement.
The Obama transition office’s Web site includes similar language.
After leaving the FCC, Mr. Genachowski from 1997-2005 was chief of business operations and general counsel and a member of Barry Diller’s office of the chairman at IAC/InterActiveCorp.
Mr. Genachowski also serves on a number of corporate boards and on the board of the consumer group Common Sense Media, a group “dedicated to improving the media and entertainment lives of kids and families.”
(2:35 p.m.: Updated with Sen. Rockefeller’s reaction)

23 Comments

  1. Maybe the new FCC chairman can help reverse the unhealthy and unwise concentration of media ownership that has taken place since the Reagan era.

  2. Proving once again that the best route to a powerful position in Government is to be an old friend of the President.
    Meanwhile, only a tortured story like this could equate parents having “more control” with reduced indecency enforcement.
    More entertaining will be to see what happens with “net neutrality,” as two of its biggest proponents, Microsoft and Google, are now affiliated with telecoms and neither is interested in it any longer.

  3. CNN’s Rick Sanchez asserted the Jews run CNN. Ah, so that might who we now blame for Rick Sanchez.

  4. Rick Sanchez went down as the sucka opposed to Jon Stewart – I doubt that is the last we’ll see of the man, boy is like a character from Anchorman.

  5. I’m grateful for you because of this wonderful articles. You truly did make my day :

  6. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know wheere u got this from. thanks

  7. Interesting layout on your blog. I really enjoyed reading it and also I will be back to read more in the future.

  8. I love the expression. Everyone needs to express there own opinion and feel free to hear others. Keep it up 🙂

  9. This is good info! Where else can if ind out more?? Who runs this joint too? Keep up the good work 🙂

  10. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days.. 🙂

  11. Great wordpress blog here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! take care and see you soon

  12. This is good info! Where else can if ind out more?? Who runs this joint too? Keep up the good work 🙂

  13. Love the blog here. Nice colors. I am definitely staying tuned to this one. Hope to see more.

  14. Hi, I just wanted to let you all know that there is a project being conducted at Harvard trying to compile the most effective arguments for and against Wikileaks. I think it’s a brilliant idea and would be an interesting read for many of you. http://www.voteonwikileaks.com

  15. I really like the colors here on your blog. did you design this yourself or did you outsource it to a professional?

  16. Interesting thoughts here. I appreciate you taking the time to share them with us all. It’s people like you that make my day 🙂

  17. Nice blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  18. Interesting thoughts here. I appreciate you taking the time to share them with us all. It’s people like you that make my day 🙂

  19. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know wheere u got this from. thanks

  20. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy.

  21. Way to focus and straight to your point, i love it. Keep up the work people. Dont let anyone stop us bloggers.

  22. I enjoy the writing relevancy of your site and it does a nice-looking decent work of presenting the info.

  23. Great wordpress blog here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! take care and see you soon

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)