Genachowski’s focal point


When thinking about the priorities of the new FCC Chairman, “broad” still applies as a syllable, but we can cast aside the syllable “cast” and replace it with “band.” This has been the conventional wisdom on Genachowski ever since his name has become associated with a possible job with the FCC, and since actually arriving there has done nothing to change anybody’s mind.

In interviews with numerous outlets, Genachowski again stressed his desire to make sure all Americans have access to high speed broadband. Beyond that, he wants to make sure small, innovative companies play a major role in getting the US to that goal. “That’s where the greatest innovation is,” he told the Washington Post. “What is interesting to me is to find ways to work with early-stage innovators to build from the edge and work on tomorrow’s ideas.”

When asked about several broadcast issues by Wall Street Journal, Genachowski essentially pleaded for more time, saying he’d only been at the FCC a few weeks. But in general, he said broadcasting is the only universal media, and needs to be looked at in that context, which means that a certain amount of regulation is acceptable. He mentioned that in the context of minimum requirements for children’s educational television programming. He said a look into broadcast ownership would be fair and open, but that it was too big of a project for an FCC that will be up to its ears in broadband issues.

On indecency, he told the Los Angeles Times pretty much what he told Congress, that the FCC is charged with enforcing the law and that it will.

Many are hoping that Genachoski may be uniquely qualified to adopt a consumer-oriented approach, balanced by his first-hand experience on the entrepreneurial side of the communications industry.

RBR/TVBR observation: It’s not necessarily a bad thing to be a low priority of a particular federal agency. Most Americans and American entities would prefer not to be regulated, and would be perfectly happy to be left alone. However, it is possible Genachowski may recognize his general disinterest in older media, and turn the lead in such matters over to veteran Commissioner Michael Copps, who definitely has some ideas for handling matters relating to radio and television. And that could make things a uncomfortable for broadcasters.