The FCC: Plus ca change...

Posted by Mitchell - August 12, 2005 (entry 348)

Herr Michael Powell, he of the failed media ownership rule changes, has just gotten a new gig: Senior Advisor of Providence Equity Partners. This is an all-too common pattern: leave the FCC, then take a job with the media you "regulated", increase your salary, and fill in that Mercedes divide, baby. The worst culprit might be Charles Denny, the FCC commissioner who in 1946 handed over the television spectrum to Big Media and then promptly tripled his salary by leaving the FCC to take a job as an executive at NBC. (I think children always get nightmares when they hear this story.)

Speaking of those rule changes, it's now the unofficial consensus that, with the possible exception of the Tribune Company, Big Media don't want those rules anymore. It took a while, and with absolutely no fanfare, the game is over -- and we win!

The next fight, it would appear, would be over the future of the telecommunications ether. And the fight is raging right now. The FCC chimed in, and unfortunately hasn't helped much so far in this regard, though as bad as that ruling was, it could have been a whole lot worse.

Oh, and on a quasi-related topic: If you have a few minutes and some spare cash -- kindly consider helping out our good friends at Mediachannel.

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