Donald Trump’s FCC Chairman Pick Is Ajit Pai: Report
Donald Trump plans to nominate sitting Republican FCC commissioner Ajit Pai as the agency’s new chairman, Politico reported today, citing industry sources. If so he would replace outgoing Democrat Tom Wheeler, whose run as the head of the government body overseeing the communications industry officially ended today.
Pai is an Obama nominee who has been an FCC commissioner for the past three-plus years. Pai met with Trump on Monday.
He would front an agency currently… Read
NYC Pre-Inaugural: Cher, Natalie Merchant And Mark Ruffalo Fire Up Michael Moore’s Anti-Trump Rally
With Natalie Merchant, Mark Ruffalo and Cher leading the frozen hootenanny, a rally tonight outside the Trump International Hotel & Tower concluded with the crowd —estimated by the NYPD at 20K to 25K strong — singing the Woody Guthrie anthem, “This Land Is Your Land.”
The song culminated an emotional two-hours-plus protest near New York City’s Columbus Circle that had been quickly organized by filmmaker Michel Moore, Robert De Niro, producer Fisher Stevens and Ruffalo. A… Read
Trump Plan Would Privatize Public Broadcasting, Kill Arts & Humanities Endowments: Report
Hours before his inauguration tomorrow, Donald Trump appears ready to approve budget-cutting plans that would outsource public radio and television financing while killing altogether federal support of the arts and humanities.
The plans were revealed Thursday morning by the D.C. newspaper The Hill, which reported that under recommendations by the President-elect’s transition team, “The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment fo… Read
Will Donald Trump Strip The FCC Of Some Of Its Regulatory Clout?
Donald Trump is preparing to revamp the FCC, possibly turning some of its functions over to other government agencies including the Federal Trade Commission, Broadcasting and Cable reports.
The President-elect met with his FCC transition team Friday and “is said to have signed off” on a plan endorsed by the FCC’s two GOP commissioners, Ajit Pai and Michael O’Reilly, the publication says. Trump met with Pai on Monday.
Republicans will dominate the agency, joined by one… Read
FCC Chairman Calls Open Internet Rules “Pro Competition, Not Pro-Incumbent”
In a farewell speech as FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler offered a full throated defense of his net neutrality initiative calling it “rooted in reality, not ideology” adding that “it is time to keep moving forward. It must not be taken away.”
Wheeler, who President Obama appointed to the FCC in 2013, plans to leave on January 20.
Agency watchers believe that the Trump administration will try to overturn the open internet rules that helped to make Wheeler — a former telco and… Read
AT&T Says Time Warner Deal Not Discussed In Trump Meeting – Update
UPDATE, 11:48 AM: AT&T’s $85 billion deal to buy Time Warner didn’t come up in CEO Randall Stephenson’s meeting with Donald Trump this morning the telco says in its first statement about the session.
They had “a very good meeting…covering a wide-range of topics,” AT&T says. But the mega-merger “was not a topic of discussion.”
What was? AT&T says that “as the country's leading investor of capital for each of the last five years, the conversation focused on how AT&T can… Read
FCC Approves Nexstar’s $4.6B Acquisition Of Media General
Updated with Nexstar comment: Nexstar Broadcasting has the all-clear for its $4.6 billion acquisition of Media General after the FCC said this morning that it approved the deal — waiving a ban on transactions while the agency conducts an auction of broadcasters’ airwave spectrum.
The companies overcame Justice Department objections in September when they agreed to divest seven stations. Nexstar currently owns or operates stations in 62 markets, while Media General is in… Read
AT&T And Time Warner Say Their Deal Shouldn’t Require FCC Review
AT&T and Time Warner tucked an interesting news nugget into a more than 150-page SEC filing last night about the telco’s $85 billion acquisition deal: They now say they don’t believe that an FCC review will be necessary because “Time Warner will not need to transfer any of its FCC licenses to AT&T in order to continue to conduct its business operations after the closing of the transaction.”
The companies add that that’s “subject to change.”
The disclosure could be… Read
Time Warner & AT&T Stocks Dip After Report Donald Trump Still Not A Fan Of Merger
Time Warner and AT&T stock prices fell in midday trading today after Bloomberg reported that President-elect Donald Trump still opposes the merger of the media conglomerates — an opinion he held during the campaign. The report cites sources close to Trump, while another source says the president-elect’s chief strategist Steve Bannon also is against the deal.
Trump had been silent on the matter since winning the election — despite weighing in on almost everything else via… Read
Mexico’s Grupo Televisa Can Increase Stake In Univision, FCC Rules
Univision can strengthen its ties to Mexico’s Grupo Televisa, and accommodate overseas investors if it goes public, as a result of an FCC Declaratory Ruling that relaxes its restrictions on foreign ownership of domestic broadcasters.
Regulators said that Televisa can increase its equity stake to 49% from 25% — the current ceiling for overseas ownership of a TV station owner. But there’s one caveat: Televisa can control only as much as 40% of the shareholder votes.
AT&T Tells FCC: DirecTV Now Data-Free Pricing Poses No Threat To Competition
T-Mobile may have unwittingly done a favor for AT&T today when it offered to give a year of free DirecTV Now streaming video to those who switch from Ma Bell’s wireless service.
AT&T cited the initiative as evidence that “the competitive process at work, driving innovation, lowering prices, and increasing consumer value” in a letter vigorously defending its offer to waive DirecTV Now data fees for its wireless customers who subscribe.
The telco responded to an information… Read
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Will Leave On January 20
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says this morning that he will leave the regulatory agency on January 20, clearing the way for the Trump administration to give Republicans control.
"Serving as F.C.C. Chairman during this period of historic technological change has been the greatest honor of my professional life,” Wheeler says in a statement. He lauded his colleagues for helping to promote “a thriving communications sector, where robust investment and world-leading innovation… Read