Ajit Pai to be named FCC Chairman

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Ajit Pai

Bloomberg is reporting that FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai will be nominated by President Donald Trump to lead the Commission. Pai, a Barack Obama nominee, has served as the senior FCC Republican for more than three years.

NAB CEO Gordon Smith issued the following statement after hearing the Pai news. “Without qualification, NAB supports President Trump’s selection of Ajit Pai to the position of FCC chairman. Ajit Pai is a known quantity who brings integrity, good humor and a fierce intellect to the Commission. We look forward to working with him and his colleagues on a pro-growth FCC agenda that benefits tens of millions of Americans who rely on free broadcast radio and TV for the most popular content, credible news and lifeline local emergency alerts.”

Pai, who turned 44 earlier this month, has spent much of his 18 years in Washington in public service with the DOJ, Senate Judiciary Committee and the FCC. He also worked for two years as a lawyer for Verizon and spent another year representing telecommunications clients at Jenner & Block.

Pai’s first public meeting as chairman–with a 2-1 majority–will be January 31.  It features a single, noncontroversial item: “Eliminate the requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain copies of letters and emails from the public in their public inspection file and the requirement that cable operators retain the location of the cable system’s principal headend in their public inspection file.”

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