Please make the next FCC commissioner a broadcaster


It’s been a long time – far too long – since somebody who actually knows what goes into making the economics of running a broadcast station has served on the 8th Floor of the Federal Communications Commission. And The Connecticut Broadcasters Association says it’s high time we had one there again.

Don DeCesare, past chair of CBA and the owner and manager of a pair of AMs in the Nutmeg State says that broadcasting is the most public of the many communications industries under FCC regulation. According to the Hartford Business Journal, he said, “We strongly believe it is vital to the development of sound public broadcasting and telecommunications policy that at least one member of the commission be a person with a deep understanding of the broadcast industry.”

DeCesare’s remarks come in the midst of the FCC’s manic hunt for spectrum to repurpose for wireless broadband and other new services, a search that many believe has had the Commission running roughshod over broadcasters in the television band.

CBA’s push for a broadcast veteran to serve at the FCC’s highest level is also timely, with one seat vacant due to the exit of Republican Meredith Baker for the private sector via a job with Comcast/NBCU. Democrat Michael Copps is also not expected to be nominated for another term on the 8th Floor, and could be on the way out by year’s end.

CBA notes that the last time an actual broadcaster was appointed to a commissioner slot was during the Nixon administration, when the late Democrat James Quello began a lengthy and widely praised run.