Blair Levin: FCC Composition ‘Murkier Than Ever’

Few probably would have guessed that the industry would still be waiting around in late July for the Biden Administration to name a permanent FCC chair, but that’s where things stand. New Street Research public policy analyst Blair Levin recently said: “While interim Chair [Jessica] Rosenworcel continues to have significant Senate support, her inability to obtain the nomination after more than six months suggests to us that there is some internal White House opposition. But there is no clear front-runner for replacing her.”

Talking TV | FCC Unknowns In A Too-Quiet Summer

TVNewsCheck‘s Michael Depp and Harry Jessell discuss the uncertainty lingering at the FCC, where Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel may be facing contention for the permanent job and a fifth commissioner has yet to be appointed.

Finding A Permanent FCC Chair Remains A Big X Factor For President Biden

The head-scratching inside the Beltway continues as the wait for a fifth Democratic Federal Communications Commission member — and for whoever is to be named the agency’s permanent chair — continues. Initial delays were thought to involve a decision between acting chair Jessica Rosenworcel and current commissioner Geoffrey Starks. But the name of broadband backer and one-time Public Knowledge head Gigi Sohn has surfaced as a new possible alternative — and one for whom the buzz had been growing

THE PRICE POINT

The Insanity Of Political Advertising Rules

There’s a welcome place for reasonable regulation of political ads, but the current rules are so cumbersome and fraught with traps that even the most minor mistakes invite ready fines and embarrassment. Hopefully, acting FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel’s forthcoming changes will address that, but there’s reason for skepticism.

FCC’s Rosenworcel Tees Up Political Rule Changes

Acting FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel is going to propose some changes to the agency’s political programming rules, she signaled in a blog post Wednesday (July 14). She did not say what the changes will be, but she will need Republican buy-in. She likely has it because she has scheduled a vote on the item for the August meeting and would be unlikely to schedule a vote in a 2-2 commission on something that could not pass.

Rosenworcel: Net Neutrality Rules Should Become Law

Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel would not comment on the degree to which the president’s failure to name a third Democratic commissioner has prevented it from taking action on some big issues — like restoring network neutrality rules — but she suggested the agency has been hard at work on other things and was still supportive of making net neutrality rules the law of the land, however that is achieved.

Unions Endorse Rosenworcel For FCC Chair

A number of unions have called on President Biden to name acting FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel to the permanent position, saying the commission is understaffed and has a lot of work to do that needs a full commission and a full-time chair. That came in a letter to the president citing her accomplishments and suggesting that there should be no further delay in naming a chair — and a third Democratic commissioner — given the big issues on the FCC’s plate.

Rosenworcel Asks Broadcasters To Promote Broadband

Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel wants broadcasters to promote their over-the-top (broadband) competition, but in a good cause. In an OTT video speech to the National Association of Broadcasters virtual State Leadership Conference this week, Rosenworcel praised broadcasters as vital first informers, including providing key help for small businesses, encouraging vaccinations, and other pandemic-related help, then hit them up for a public interest favor.

Rosenworcel: FCC Lacks Jurisdiction Over Hulu, Sinclair Dispute

Acting FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel told a troubled senator that the FCC does not have the authority to get involved in the carriage dispute between a broadcaster and streaming service, in this case Disney’s Hulu Plus Live TV streaming service and Sinclair, over access to the latter’s regional sports networks. That came in a letter responding to Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who asked the FCC to help facilitate a resolution of the dispute “promptly and impartially.”

Rosenworcel: Action Unlikely On Sec. 230 Petition

Acting FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel didn’t make any big news at her first post-meeting press conference Wednesday, but she did confirm that she is still a fan of net neutrality rules and no fan of the Trump Administration petition to the FCC to regulate social media using Sec. 230.

Rosenworcel Salutes 1996 Telecom Act

Acting Democratic FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel released a video today celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the 1996 Telecommunications Act featuring a virtual gathering some of the major players in that landmark legislation, with a heavy emphasis on the Democrats instrumental in its passage and implementation.

Acting FCC Chair Rosenworcel Staffs Up

Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has assembled her team after getting the nod for the interim (at least) post last week. She had been widely expected to get the acting chair post so there was plenty of time to ponder the acting staff she has lined up.

Biden’s FCC, FTC Choices Signal Major Shift

President Biden on Thursday appointed Rebecca Kelly Slaughter acting chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission and Jessica Rosenworcel as acting chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission. The two appointments reflect the tectonic political shift underway in Washington as Democrats, newly in charge of the White House and Congress, prepare to roll back a slew of deregulatory actions implemented under President Donald Trump.

Rosenworcel Named Acting FCC Chair

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel is tapped by President Biden to lead the agency.

Rosenworcel: Digital Connections Can Counter Divisiveness Of Insurrection

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who is widely expected to be named acting FCC chair next week — and perhaps more than acting — used a portion of her statement on the FCC’s first meeting of the new year and last meeting for chairman Ajit Pai to talk a little about the recent violence at the Capitol from the vantage of someone who frequented its halls as a top staffer.

Rosenworcel Eyed As Key Contender For Top FCC Job

The FCC will soon shift to Democratic control, and speculation has already begun about who will assume the chairmanship under the Biden administration. Jessica Rosenworcel, the senior Democrat on the commission, is widely considered to be one of the leading candidates to succeed Ajit Pai in the powerful regulatory post. She has been vetted twice and would likely have a smooth path to confirmation, which would be a key consideration assuming the Senate remains in Republican hands.

Jessica Rosenworcel Could Be Biden’s FCC Chair

She can’t talk about taking the position. But right now, she’s very focused on Trump’s Section 230 executive order and the state of the U.S. digital divide.

Life In The Minority At The FCC

As a member of the minority on the current FCC, Jessica Rosenworcel is limited in the ways she can fight back. Still, she says she thinks it’s important to speak out constantly about where she thinks the agency is falling short.

COMMENTARY BY JESSICA ROSENWORCEL

FCC Threatens Local News Across The US

In a Des Monies Register op-ed, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel bemoans the FCC’s relaxing of ownership rules and the proposed Sinclair-Tribune merger, saying “Washington should not be clearing the way for big companies to overwhelm local media markets.  Because local traditions — and local coverage — matter.”

TVN TECH

Sinclair Stands To Profit From 3.0 Royalties

If ATSC 3.0 becomes the de facto standard for TV broadcasting in the coming decade, Sinclair’s One Media could make a small fortune from patent royalties from manufacturers of 3.0 receivers and transmission gear. That’s cause for concern for the FCC’s Jessica Rosenworcel. Sinclair, however, says its primary interest is in the 3.0 tech that it believes will let it enhance its broadcast capabilities and move into new businesses.

Q&A

Rosenworcel Vows To Protect Consumers

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel calls herself an “impatient optimist.” Even in the minority, the Democrat aims to ensure that efforts to deregulate don’t harm consumers.

Rosenworcel: FCC In Cahoots With Sinclair?

Speaking at Wednesday’s oversight hearing before the House Communications Subcommittee, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel says she’s suspicious of recent FCC actions that seem designed to benefit Sinclair Broadcast Group. “I think it is something that merits investigation.” Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) said he would be looking into FCC’s evasiveness on Sinclair and other matters.

FCC Minority Laments Loss Of Studio Rule

In separate dissenting statements, Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn says the FCC majority erred in completely eliminating the rule. Instead of taking a “sledge hammer” to it, the three Republicans should have agreed to a compromise, like a more lenient waiver policy. And Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel says the action will “hollow out” broadcasting’s tradition of local service.

JEASELL AT LARGE

Rosenworcel, Clyburn Need To Thump Trump

I can almost understand Republican Chairman Ajit Pai’s muted response to Trump’s tweeted threats against NBC’s TV station licenses, but not those of Democratic Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn. If what they’ve said so far reflects their passion for protecting media from Trump at the FCC, the networks and their licensed stations may be in a little trouble. 

Rosenworcel: NBC Licenses Won’t Be Pulled

During an interview on CNN this past weekend, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the FCC must abide by the First Amendment. The FCC, she said, “will not revoke a broadcast license simply because the president is dissatisfied with the licensees coverage.”

Rosenworcel Wary Of Sinclair Deal, ATSC 3.0

In a speech before Catholic bishops, the Democratic FCC commissioner says she fears the Sinclair-Tribune merger will “do harm to the time-tested principles of diversity, localism and competition.” Because ATSC 3.0 signals are incompatible with TV receivers now in use, she says, the new standard will force consumers to buy new sets. “It’s a tax on every household with a television.” NAB counters that the commissioner “misunderstands” the standard.

FCC’s Rosenworcel Announces Staff

The new commissioner picks her chief of staff, policy adviser and staff assistant. 

 

Rosenworcel Criticizes FCC Storm Response

Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and other critics say the commission is not doing enough to respond to the crisis in Puerto Rico and the recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida.

Senate Confirms Two FCC Nominees

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican Brendan Carr for seats on the FCC but did not yet reconfirm GOP Chairman Ajit Pai to another term.

Senate Panel Approves FCC Nominees

During a hearing on Wednesday, members of the Senate Commerce Committee voted to approve the confirmations of Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican Brendan Carr as FCC commissioners. Current Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s reconfirmation to the FCC was also approved by lawmakers. The trio’s confirmations will proceed to a Senate-wide vote

Senate Dems Take Aim at GOP FCC Noms

Democratic senators didn’t hold back during Wednesday morning’s FCC nomination hearing before the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, taking aim at Republican nominee Brendan Carr and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who is seeking reappointment. The same treatment didn’t extend to Democratic nominee Jessica Rosenworcel, who awaits confirmation for her second term as an FCC commissioner.

FCC Nominees Head To Senate This Week

Senators will get to work this week on President Trump’s FCC nominees. The agency has been operating with only three commissioners — two Republicans and a Democrat. On Wednesday, the Senate Commerce Committee is holding a confirmation hearing for the two open seats. Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican Brendan Carr will appear before the panel. If confirmed they would give the FCC a 3-2 Republican edge.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Safe Is The Word For Trump’s FCC, Thankfully

The newly constituted FCC is conservative and deregulatory, but in a way you would expect had any of the establishment Republicans won the White House last November. When Trump won, I worried that he would stack the FCC with nut-job loyalists so that he could follow through with his threats against the media. Luckily, that didn’t happen.

PTC Applauds Rosenworcel FCC Renomination

The Parents Television Council today urged the Senate to approve Jessica Rosenworcel’s renomination to the FCC, and called on President Trump to fill the remaining commissioner slot with a nominee who will advocate for children and families. PTC said: “Most pressing among pro-family FCC issues is the reform of the TV content ratings system, which has […]

Trump To Renominate Rocenworcel To FCC

President Trump intends to nominate Jessica Rosenworcel for a new term on the FCC, paving her way for her return to the commission after her tenure lapsed at the end of last year. The FCC currently has two vacancies, and is facing a third. Commissioner Mignon Clyburn’s term expires at the end of this month.

Trump May Have Found His FCC Nominees

President Donald Trump could soon fill the two open slots at the FCC, by tapping Brendan Carr, an aide to the FCC’s current Republican chairman, and Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat who previously served at the agency. At the moment, those two seasoned telecom policy experts are seen as the front-runners to fill the remaining seats at the five-member FCC, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter, though Trump has not yet formally nominated anyone.

Speculation Grows Over Trump FCC Pick

President Trump must fill two vacant seats on the FCC, an important decision that could set the tone for his administration’s policies on tech companies. FCC watchers believe the Democratic spot will likely be filled by former Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. For the Republican seat, Trump has not yet tipped his hand, but there is growing speculation over who could be on his shortlist. Among them: Michelle Connolly, Patricia Paoletta, Roslyn Layton and Ben Moncrief.

White House Cancels CPB, FCC Nominations

President Trump has withdrawn two nominations for the CPB Board and one for the FCC. Last fall President Obama nominated Brent Nelsen and David Arroyo, both previous CPB directors, to serve through 2020. The two were among 23 nominations withdrawn Tuesday, along with the nomination for FCC commissioner of Jessica Rosenworcel.

TVNEWSCHECK FOCUS ON WASHINGTON

Hershman Is Front Runner For FCC GOP Slot

Indiana state senator Brandt Hershman has close ties to Vice President Pence. Others in the running include Jeffrey A. Eisenach, Mark A. Jamison and Roslyn Layton. In the mix to fill the Democrat vacancy on the commission is former commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.

FCC May Face Stalemate After Nom Fails

The U.S. Senate adjourned without confirming Jessica Rosenworcel for a second term on the commission, forcing her out of office and setting up the agency for a partisan deadlock as the Republican administration of Donald J. Trump begins. Without other changes, the Democrat’s departure would leave the FCC hindered, with two Republicans and two Democrats on the five-member panel, until the Senate can confirm a Republican to gain a majority.