In response to a question on his last press call, outgoing FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said he has some issues with the permanent bans on President Trump’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, adding that he recognized the country was going through difficult times “and these are difficult questions to confront.”
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who is exiting the commission Jan. 20, said his reforms of the agency since taking over in 2017 have fundamentally changed the FCC for the better. In a virtual address to the Free State Foundation, Pai took something of a victory lap, outlining the ways he thought his process reforms had made the agency more transparent and effective, by clearing out the regulatory underbrush, a pledge he made early on.
The FCC has run low on time to adopt an order trimming a liability shield for social media companies, leaving the fate of a request from President Donald Trump in doubt. Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai let slip a Wednesday deadline for setting a vote on the proposal at the next monthly meeting of the agency, which is scheduled for Jan. 13 and is the last before he leaves the commission a week later.
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) has written FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to stick up for Gray Television’s WWSB Sarasota, Fla., in a retrans fight with Frontier Cable. Citing a failure to reach a retrans agreement with Frontier, WWSB used some in-house news reporting last week to relay that it had been pulled from the cable system Friday (Dec. 18) after WWSB offered to keep the signal on at current terms while they continued to negotiate.
In what is likely to be one of his last major speeches as FCC chairman, Ajit Pai used a good portion of his time speaking virtually with the Media Institute on Tuesday, Dec. 15, about the continued fight over new media ownership rules.
The chairman says “It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve at the Federal Communications Commission, including as chairman … over the past four years. I am grateful to President Trump for giving me the opportunity to lead the agency in 2017, to President Obama for appointing me as a commissioner in 2012, and to Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the Senate for twice confirming me.”
With the presidential election behind us (and make no mistake, it’s over), scholars are beginning to consider what tech policy under a Joe Biden administration may look like. But before getting there, it’s worthwhile to reflect on how Ajit Pai’s chairmanship has shaped the FCC and the future of tech policy.
House Democrats blasted FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Monday over his announcement that the commission would move forward with the Trump administration’s petition to clarify the meaning of a law that grants tech companies a legal liability shield over content posted on their websites by third parties. Democratic leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee accused Pai of attempting to help a “flailing President Trump” through his decision to move forward with the administration’s push to clarify Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has signaled he plans to follow President Trump’s lead and “clarify” Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. He also says he has been assured by FCC lawyers that the FCC has the authority to do so. ““As elected officials consider whether to change the law, the question remains: What does Section 230 currently mean?,” Pai said in a statement. “[M]any advance an overly broad interpretation that in some cases shields social media companies from consumer protection laws in a way that has no basis in the text of Section 230. The commission’s General Counsel has informed me that the FCC has the legal authority to interpret Section 230. Consistent with this advice, I intend to move forward with a rulemaking to clarify its meaning.”
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has circulated a notice of proposed rulemaking establishing new disclosure requirements for TV and radio content sponsored by foreign governments. “With some station content coming from the likes of China and Russia, it is time to update our rules and shed more sunlight on these practices,” he said, urging his colleagues to vote to approve his proposal ASAP.
Leonard Asper, president & CEO of Anthem Sports & Entertainment, has sent a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai taking aim at the retransmission consent regime, prompted by the retrans disputes between Dish and Scripps (it was settled last week) and Dish and Cox Media Group (Apollo).
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has told a member of the House that the agency is generally not in the business of dictating what viewers can and can’t see. Pai was responding to a letter from Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), who was concerned about a TV show, La Comay, airing on Mega TV in Puerto Rico and containing what she called “a pattern of xenophobic and racist remarks.”
In moving to free up Wi-Fi and bolster superfast service, Ajit Pai has alienated some industries, congressional committees and Trump Cabinet leaders.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says he has been trying to focus on diversity for the last couple of years,but has been hampered by the courts. Pai was asked during his post public meeting press conference on June 9 about the link between media ownership and the wider conversation in the country about racial justice, whether the FCC was doing enough to promote media diversity and what more it could do.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told a virtual NAB Show audience Wednesday that their legacy public service commitment is “showing up in spades” during the pandemic. Fresh from the FCC’s May 13 public meeting, Pai was able to appear at the NAB Show Express virtual convention to be interviewed by NAB President Gordon Smith only a couple of hours later.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and NAB President-CEO Gordon Smith will participate in a keynote conversation Wednesday, May 13, during the NAB Show Express Welcome event. The industry’s top regulator and the head of NAB will discuss communications policy issues before the FCC, including spectrum policy and media ownership. The opening session will be streamed on nabshowexpress.com at noon ET […]
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has asked the chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee to speak out against Free Press’s emergency petition to the FCC to stop what that group said was “right-wing personalities” spreading disinformation about the pandemic.
The FCC Chairman praises their response to the coronavirus pandemic, including providing social distancing PSAs, educational programming, and community fundraisers.
In a conference call, the FCC chairman also asks broadcasters to air public service announcements promoting social distancing.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has not made a decision yet on his planned appearance next month at the National Association of Broadcasters’s NAB Show, according to a source. Pai is still slated for a Q&A with NAB President Gordon Smith at the show, which was still on as of Thursday evening, according to NAB’s coronavirus update page.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has been tapped to receive the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award. The award is given to an “individual in broadcasting” whose work “exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.”
Next week’s CES in Las Vegas will once again take over the Strip with a sprawling, frenetic glimpse into tomorrow’s consumer technology. This time, NextGen TV will make its show floor debut, and hopes are high consumers will notice.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has decided to hold a public auction of C-Band spectrum. That is the midband spectrum the FCC wants to free up for 5G, and that is the proposal that the chairman signaled Monday he would be asking the other commissioners to vote to approve in an order early next year.
The FCC’s repack of 1,000 TV stations into smaller spectrum quarters is almost two-thirds of the way to completion, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told a Senate oversight hearing audience Thursday (Oct. 17), and has proven to be a smooth transition.
In what could signal a big change in regulatory approach, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has plans a vote on an item that would set the precedent that streaming services qualify as “effective competition” to MVPDs sufficient to trigger basic rate deregulation of those MVPDs.
The FCC dismissed Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) criticism of the agency’s chairman as “hot air,” after the Democratic presidential candidate accused him of advancing the interests of the telecom industry. The pushback comes in response to an op-ed the senator published in The Washington Post on Tuesday arguing for renewed federal efforts to expand internet access to areas that lack it.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai suggested this week that the FCC is awaiting consensus among broadcasters and Microsoft before moving ahead with a proposal on freeing up the “white spaces” between and around post-incentive auction repacked TV channels for wireless broadband. That came in an FCC oversight hearing in the House Communications Subcommittee, where he said he hoped to bring the new white spaces regime to reality soon.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday delayed plans to begin in June a comprehensive review of a valuable band of spectrum reserved for vehicles to communicate with one another. The delay complied with a request from U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao for more time before the commission takes up the 5.9 GHz matter.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai put in a plug Wednesday for giving the FCC some fast track broadcast deregulatory authority. In a House Communications Subcommittee FCC oversight hearing, Pai said that the disconnect between a moving marketplace and the “stasis” of FCC rules was the fundamental issue the FCC had with its media ownership rules.
The Nexstar CEO says while the FCC’s ownership coverage cap is effectively at 78% now, broadcasters would like the Pai FCC to lock it in at that level so that some future FCC with a Democratic majority cannot easily reset it at 39% by once again repealing the UHF discount.
The FCC chairman tells the NAB Show that when it comes to the commission’s review, “we will not be deterred by those whose regulatory views are not guided by facts and reasons, but instead were set in stone in the era of Laverne & Shirley, Starsky & Hutch and The Captain and Tennille.”
FCC chief Ajit Pai should finish what he started on local TV ownership reform by approving the precedent-setting station sale in Sioux Fall, S.D. Action is long overdue.
The chairman and commissioners will appear at two different sessions at next month’s Las Vegas gathering.
Chairman Ajit Pai reflects on an impactful — and contentious — two years at the helm of the FCC.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai signaled Friday that the FCC is preparing to start accepting next-gen TV (ATSC 3.0) license applications and that the Media Bureau is even now working on an order to wrap up some open issues, including the local simulcasting requirement for stations without a viable partner, and a second order to resolve various petitions for reconsideration (filed by cable operators).
For the second year in a row, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has pulled out of his appearance at the Consumer Technology Association’s CES in Las Vegas next week. Pai was to have been interviewed in a “Fireside Chat” with CES President Gary Shapiro, which has become something of a tradition. But Pai’s office said the government shutdown — and uncertainty about how long it would last — precipitated the decision.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is acknowledging that Russia-linked email addresses weighed in during the public comment process ahead of the FCC’s net neutrality repeal last year. Pai wrote in a court filing this week that it is a “fact” that a half-million comments were submitted from Russian email addresses during the public comment period, adding that most of those comments were in favor of net neutrality.
The FCC’s internal watchdog found no evidence of a “concealment or cover-up” by Chairman Ajit Pai on interactions with the White House related to the failed Sinclair-Tribune merger.