Ex-FCC Chair: Move Against AT&T Is ‘Chilling’

Former FCC Chairman Julius Genakowski, now a partner with The Carlyle Group, is troubled by the Department of Justice’s efforts to block AT&T from buying Time Warner. He says that yesterday’s lawsuit creates “unprecedented uncertainty for media companies” and that AT&T may be coerced into a divestiture that would be “unfair and potentially chilling.”

Ex-FCC Chief Named To Intelligence Board

Former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has been appointed to President Obama’s advisory board for intelligence. Genachowski, who led the agency from 2009 to 2013, was named to the nonpartisan advisory body that is comprised of people outside the government. It seeks to improve how intelligence agencies function, including their organizational structure and compliance with the law.

Genachowski Joins The Carlyle Group

Former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will focus on global technology, media and telecom investments as managing director of the firm’s buyout team.

NAB’s CEO Slams Genachowski’s FCC Tenure

In prepared remarks, Gordon Smith rebuked the “myopic” Genachowski FCC for doing whatever it could for wireless broadband, while ignoring broadcasting, despite all the public good that it does. He also urged the FCC under new chairman Tom Wheeler to take “its responsibility seriously to drive innovation and investment in the U.S. broadcast industry, just as it does with the broadband industry.”


Genachowski Looks Back As He Leaves

After four and a half years running the FCC, Julius Genachowski is stepping down today. He’s had an eventful time: dealing with net neutrality, spectrum auctions, mergers and David Ortiz’s exhortative expletive on national TV. As Genachowski prepares to leave, he agreed to chat about his legacy and what he hopes to see the commission do next.


What To Expect From A Tom Wheeler FCC

First, there will be little or no change in the incentive auction policy. Look for Wheeler to push the auction with all the zeal of the outgoing Genachowski. What’s near impossible to divine is where Wheeler will go on two issues that should be of more immediate concern to broadcasters: ownership and retransmission consent.

Genachowski Taking Aspen Fellowship

The Aspen Institute has announced that outgoing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will become a senior fellow for the nonprofit think tank to advise it on communications policy. By accepting the Aspen Institute position, Genachowski is following in the footsteps of several previous FCC chairmen, including Reed Hundt, William Kennard, Michael Powell and  Kevin Martin.

NAB 2013

Genachowski: Mobile DTV Needs Spectrum

The FCC Chairman says that for mobile DTV to thrive, broadcasters will need some of the broadband spectrum that his incentive auction will provide.


Awesome Questions For FCC’s Genachowski

With the NAB Show slotting an “interview” of outgoing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski by NAB Joint Board Chairman Paul Karpowicz next Wednesday, once again I’d like to volunteer some questions guaranteed to liven up the proceedings.

FCC Shift May Thwart A Murdoch Media Deal

News Corp. wants the FCC to waive a rule that would prevent it from acquiring the Los Angeles Times, but Chairman Julius Genachowski’s exit may delay further action.

FCC Spruces Up Chairman’s Wikipedia Entry

The FCC has been working with a third party to redo outgoing Chairman Julius Gena­chowski’s Wikipedia page, according to a senior official. Numerous entries were added that tout accomplishments such as his work with Mexico to prevent stolen cellphones from crossing the border. Other entries mentioned speeches in which the chairman asked cities to increase broadband Internet speeds. But the entries do not disclose that the FCC was working with a third party, contrary to Wikipedia’s practice. The world’s largest online encyclopedia restricts editorial entries that could be a conflict of interest.


Wheeler: Not So Bad For A Cable Guy

The talk around D.C. is that Tom Wheeler, the former head of NCTA and CTIA, is the frontrunner to replace Julius Genachowski as FCC Chairman.  OK, sure, Wheeler headed trade groups representing two of broadcasting’s long-time nemeses, cable and wireless. But that could work in broadcasters’ favor since he’ll have to be careful not to show any favoritism toward his former employers. And having spent his entire career representing businesses, running businesses and investing in businesses, Wheeler undoubtedly will have a light regulatory touch in all matters. And that’s not something you can say about most Democrats.

Sources: FCC’s Genachowski Calling It Quits

Julius Genachowski is expected to announce Friday that he will be stepping down as FCC chairman after three-and-a-half years in the job. If so, the news will come two days after fellow commissioner Robert McDowell announced he was quitting and Genchowski told reporters that he had “no news” on rampant reports that he would be next.

Who Will Be The Next FCC Chairman?

On June 30th, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s five-year term will expire, which has led to speculation that Genachowski might soon announce his departure. Although the FCC chair is not a cabinet-level position, D.C. chatter is already flying fast and furious about Genachowski’s replacement, with three people said to be on the short list: Tom Wheeler, Karen Kornbluh and Larry Strickling.


Genachowski Is Far From Plodding, Cautious

Contrary to the thesis of a recent article on the FCC chairman, for better or worse (and most broadcasters would say worse), Julius Genachowski has had an extraordinary, if not revolutionary, impact on at least a couple of the key industries he oversees, especially TV broadcasting.

For Genachowski, Space Is Final Frontier

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has spent the better part of his four years as chairman battling telephone and cable companies and GOP lawmakers as they tried to roll back regulations, but as he brushes off talk of an imminent departure, he says that the FCC has a new mission: helping set a framework for commercial communications in space.

High-Stakes Tenure Tests FCC Chief

Julius Genachowski has held his cards close to the vest during a tough time for the telecom industry. His term at the agency ends next summer, and while Genachowski hasn’t announced plans for departure, he is widely expected to leave as soon as the administration can arrange for a successor.

Free Press Blasts FCC Ownership Plans

Free Press CEO Craig Aaron: “Chairman Genachowski’s attempt to overhaul long-standing media ownership limits is little more than a gift-wrapped giveaway to Rupert Murdoch.”

FCC Chair Circulates Media Ownership Order

There was no doubt that the FCC would wait until after the election to deal with the always controversial review of media ownership rules that have been in and out of court since 2008. On Wednesday, the FCC confirmed that Chairman Julius Genachowski circulated a proposed order of the rules for a vote among the other four commissioners. The FCC is about two years behind schedule on congressional requirements that the rules be reviewed every four years.


FCC Puts Incentive Auction On Fast Track

The reallocation of TV spectrum is moving ahead, with the FCC voting unanimously to adopt a rulemaking on how to acquire spectrum now used by TV stations, with compensation, and auction it for broadband development. The auction could come as soon as 2014.

NAB Backs FCC Spectrum Move — Sort Of

The trade group says it takes no issue with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski setting plans for a spectrum auction – as long as stations have the right to participate on a voluntary basis. The commission is scheduled to vote on the chairman’s newly released proposal Sept. 28.


Extending Viewability Would Aid TV Diversity

A coalition of broadcasters is working to extend the FCC  rule that requires cable operators to carry must-carry signals in an analog format so viewers with old TV sets can continue to watch them. Many affected must-carry stations provide services that are appreciated by narrow segments of the America public. In other words, they provide diversity in programming — one of the pillars of FCC policy. By letting the rule expire, the FCC would unnecessarily hurt the weakest stations, diminish their value and threaten the diversity they bring to the public.

FCC Taking Fox Allegations ‘Very Seriously’

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski testified Wednesday that his agency takes calls to cancel Fox’s broadcast licenses “very seriously.” During a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Frank Lautenberg pressed Genachowski on whether he plans to do anything about the allegations. Genachowski said it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on a specific case, but that the commission is “certainly aware of the serious issues that have been raised in the U.K.”


Genachowski Got His Way, But At What Cost?

By adopting the FCC chairman’s plan to require broadcasters to post all political advertising information online instead of opting for an industry-proposed compromise, the commission is making it difficult to find the most sought-after and valuable information — who’s buying spots in what markets and how much are they spending in total. In addition, the new rule runs the risk of being slowed or derailed by challenges at the OMB and in the federal courts.

Genachowski Makes Key Staff Changes

Zachary Katz will become chief of staff, succeeding the departing Eddie Lazarus next month.

Spectrum Auction Bill Advances In House

A Republican-backed payroll tax and jobs bill with TV spectrum auction language attached won House passage last night. But many hurdles still stand in the way of it becoming law. President Obama has said he would veto the legislation as it now stands. Still, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who has championed the reallocation of TV spectrum to wireless broadband, called the House vote a “major achievement.”


Good And Bad In FCC’s New Disclosure Plan

Tomorrow, the FCC will proffer a new batch of disclosure rules to replace the ones it passed in 2007 but hasn’t been enforcing. Like the 2007 rules, the proposed ones call for more detailed programming reports from stations so the FCC can better assess whether they are meeting public interest obligations. But the new ones are not as demanding as the 2007 ones. Stations would still have to put their public files online and, unlike before, include political advertising records showing the purchases of time by candidates, PACs and other political advocacy groups.




Smith To FCC: Stay Out Of Retrans

In an open letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, NAB President Gordon Smith says “the mere prospect of government intervention introduces uncertainty and distorts incentives in ways that disrupt the bargaining process and only make it more difficult to reach fair and equitable agreements.” He says service disruptions caused by negotiation impasses are the rare exception rather than the rule.

FCC Opens Technology Experience Center

The new center is designed to let FCC staffers actually see and touch the devices and technologies they’re regulating — and hopefully better understand how the commission’s laborious rulemaking process translates to consumer experiences.

Upton, Walden Ask FCC To Kill Fairness

The leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Tuesday asking him to strike the Fairness Doctrine from the agency’s rulebook. The controversial rule, introduced in 1949, required broadcasters to present controversial public issues in a manner deemed fair and balanced by the FCC. The commission concluded in 1987 that the Fairness Doctrine was unconstitutional and pledged to cease enforcing it.


Local TV News Fix: Full Free Speech Rights

Steve Waldman, the FCC’s point man of saving local jounalism, might actually do some good by calling for full First Amendment rights for broadcasters. He can start by condemning the fines that the FCC imposed a couple of weeks ago on New Jersey’s tiny WMGM and Fox O&O KMSP Minneapolis for running VNRs. The fines are an affront to the free speech rights of all broadcasters. Waldman should say so and call on Congress to get out of the business of regulating TV and radio content.

Genachowski Pushes For Spectrum Move

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski brought his call for moving swiftly to free up more wireless spectrum to the International CTIA show in Orlando, the wireless companies who have been pushing the FCC hard to make that happen.

Walden Questions FCC Spectrum Plan

Chairman of the House Communications Subcommittee and one-time radio broadcaster Greg Walden expesses doubt that the FCC plan for reclaiming broadcast spectrum is voluntary for broadcasters. He also joins broadcasters in calling for a spectrum inventory to determine whether taking back broadcast spectrum is truly necessary.


Genachowski Defends Incentive Auctions

The FCC chairman addresses what he calls “misimpressions,” saying there is no spectrum hoarding by cable and wireless companies; that there is already a spectrum inventory; that spectrum subleasing by broadcasters won’t solve the broadband spectrum shortage; and emphasizd that any  spectrum repacking would be limited and stations would be fully reimbursed for any moves and “we would propose that stations not be forced to move from the UHF band to the VHF band; rather, any such moves would be purely voluntary.”

Goodmon Pitches Alternative Spectrum Plan

Contending that the FCC’s plan for reclaiming broadcast spectrum will not work, Capitol Broadcasting Jim Goodmon CEO proposed an alternative “overlay” plan under which broadcasters would handle distribution of video when wireless broadband providers can’t handle the traffic volume themselves.

FCC: Genachowski ‘Very Happy’ Where He Is

After reports that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is being considered to become secretary of Commerce, the FCC is making a show of denying the rumors, and emphasizing just how pleased Genachowski is in his current job.


Dingell Likens FCC Spectrum Plan To ‘Holdup’

The congressman grills FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and isn’t satisfied with the chairman’s answers on just how voluntary FCC’s proposed spectrum auction plan for broadcasters is.  “I have dark suspicions,” he says.

Genachowski Ready To OK Comcast-NBCU

The FCC chairman is circulating an order among the other commissioners that would approve the deal if conditions regarding program access, localism and diversity, among others, are met.

FCC Imposes Net Neutrality Rules

Voting 3-2 along partisan lines, the agency adopted rules aimed at prohibiting cable companies from favoring some Internet users or discriminating against others. “For the first time, we’ll have enforceable rules of the road to preserve Internet freedom and openness,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who crafted and pushed for the rules.