A changing of the guard in Washington is the signal to get the PR machinery in gear, and the anticipation of the FCC Chairmanship of Julius Genachowski is certainly no exception. Below is a dragnet of welcomes and requests from a wide variety of sources.
* NAB President/CEO David K. Rehr: Julius Genachowski has a keen intellect, a passion for public service, and a deep understanding of the important role that free and local broadcasting plays in American life. NAB salutes President-elect Obama on this superb choice to lead the FCC.
* Medley Global Advisors analyst Jessica Zufolo (as quoted by Reuters): From Wall Street’s standpoint, it’s hugely positive because of his extensive background in technology and funding technology companies.
* Josh Silver, Executive Director, Free Press: Under Julius Genachowski’s leadership, the FCC’s compass would point toward the public interest…We share Obama’s goals of creating a more diverse, democratic media system and providing fast, affordable, open Internet access for everyone.
* American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka: The role of the FCC has never been more significant to more Americans, and we wish Mr. Genachowski well in taking on today’s historic challenges. The next several years will present opportunities and obstacles in the technology and communications industries, including the coming DTV transition and the Government’s effort to deploy broadband in underserved areas…Mr. Genachowski’s record of accomplishments and reputation within the industry make him a good choice as Chairman, and we congratulate him.
* Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV): There is no question that Julius Genachowski has the experience and credentials to successfully reinvigorate the FCC as Chair. I commend President-elect Obama for nominating someone who is completely committed to making technology accessible to all Americans and I look forward to working with him on the many telecommunications challenges that the Commission and the Committee will face in the months and years ahead.
* Wayne Crews, Vice President for Policy, Competitive Enterprise Institute: If Mr. Genachowski recognizes the private sector’s primacy in expanding consumer options and the harm and confusion created by central regulation of communications, and stands ready to roll back the unnecessary influence of the FCC on the burgeoning choices of consumers, he’ll prove to be a good choice. We would not likely create an FCC today if it didn’t exist. Much of the oversight the agency imposes could be transferred to markets, or eliminated; or in the final analysis left with a general regulator like the Federal Trade Commission.
* Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY): The reported selection of Julius Genachowski as the next chairman of the FCC represents the dawning of a new day for an agency that for the past eight years has wrongly imposed policies that favor media consolidation and corporate favoritism over policies that would broaden media diversity. I am confident that Mr. Genachowski will breathe new life into the FCC and help reverse the ill effects of media consolidation that the Bush administration has forced upon the American people.
* Seattle Times (in an editorial): Julius Genachowski, is a hopeful step after his Bush-appointed predecessor’s failed intention to lift media cross-ownership rules… Genachowski is an improvement over Martin for several reasons. Martin did not believe the FCC should forbid the same company from owning a newspaper and a TV station in a local market; he thought cable, satellite and Internet technology had made the issue of monopoly moot, and that if media moguls bought up radio and TV properties like strings of collectible jewels, the people had nothing to worry about.Genachowski knows better. The media-ownership restrictions that almost fell under Martin will be in safer hands.
* Parents Television Council President Tim Winter: We congratulate Mr. Genachowski on his nomination to serve as the next chairman of the FCC. We hope the FCC under his leadership will be committed to putting the public interest ahead of the corporate interest. Among the numerous issues that fall under FCC oversight, broadcast decency and cable choice are of critical importance to parents and families.
* Common Sense Media CEO James Steyer: Julius Genachowski is a simply superb choice for this position. Julius is a founding board member of Common Sense Media and was a key architect of our overall strategy about the impact of media on kids. As a devoted dad, he will always take the interests of parents and kids into consideration when important decisions are made at the FCC, which is critical in a media environment that allows companies to reach the public 24 hours a day via a multitude of outlets.
* Chris Murray, senior counsel for Consumers Union: We’re encouraged by this choice for FCC chairman, someone who understands the communications and media industries well, and someone who gets how important an open Internet is to economic growth. The first major challenge he will face is minimizing the number of TVs that lose signal after the digital TV transition. We stand ready to work with the new chairman to do whatever it takes to help make this big switch as smooth as possible.
* National Religious Broadcasters President/CEO Dr. Frank Wright: In my tenure as president of the National Religious Broadcasters, I have developed enormous respect for the intellect, character, and integrity of those who have served the FCC as chairman. By all appearances, Julius Genachowski will make a worthy addition to that group.