Copps settles in for interim


Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps convened a meeting with the FCC calling for a renewed sense of communication and cooperation within the agency – and a strong focus on DTV. As he put it, “In the weeks ahead, our three most important priorities will be, as you have heard me say already, DTV, DTV and DTV.”

Copps stressed the importance of the FCC’s mission, but added that internal systems seem to have “frayed.” “So the first thing we need to do as an organization is to improve our lines of communication, enhance the level of transparency in our work, and bring to our daily decisions the kind of openness that gives true credibility to everything we do. Change needs to occur, for openers, in at least three distinct areas: how the various Bureaus and Offices work with each other; how the Commissioners communicate with one another and with the Bureaus; and how the Commission communicates with the public.” He called for an “…open exchange of ideas in an effort to find solutions to the challenges confronting us.”

Republican Commissioner Robert McDowell welcomed Copps’ openness initiative and offered ideas on how to open things up. Among them was a “thorough operational, financial and ethics audit of the Commission.” He also called for a new updated strategic plan and a full calendar of FCC Open Meetings for 2009, with six months notice of all meetings going ahead into 2010 and beyond.

RBR/TVBR observation: The interim period between Kevin Martin and Julius Genachowski did not figure to be a holding pattern under veteran Washington operator Copps. But if there was any doubt anywhere, Copps has laid them to rest. With DTV not quite as pressing a matter as it was a few days ago, it will be interesting to see just what Copps decides to tackle in his abbreviated time in the Chair.