Cue The Suspense: First Post-Wheeler FCC Meeting Set


FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has announced what is tentatively on the agenda for the Commission’s January Open Commission Meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 31.

He won’t be there, though.

Wheeler will step down as Chairman on Inauguration Day, leaving Republican Commissioners Ajit Pai — widely expected to be named interim Chairman — and Michael O’Rielly to discuss with lone Democrat Mignon Clyburn the streamlining of public file rules … and nothing else.

That is the lone item the three-member FCC will consider.

Specifically, it is a Report and Order that would eliminate the requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain copies of letters and e-mails from the public in their public inspection file, and the requirement that cable operators retain the location of the cable system’s principal headend in their public inspection file.

Thus, it is a short yet important meeting for the broadcast industry.

The Open Meeting is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m. in Room TW-C305 of the FCC’s headquarters building.

Meanwhile, Wheeler will make his final address as FCC Chairman on Friday (1/13) at The Aspen Institute. He will reflect on “lessons learned during his FCC tenure,” an official FCC announcement states, and discuss the path ahead for U.S. broadband policy.

The news regarding the soon-to-be 2-1 Republican-majorty FCC’s first Open Meeting comes as Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.), confirmed that the new Congress will continue to have six subcommittees.

The following information is vital for broadcast industry management and the C-Suite:

Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.)

Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.)

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.)

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska)

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.)

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)