FCC Changes

Posted on December 29th, 2020 by

Unlike the many rule changes for broadcasters that we’ve covered in the pages of this newsletter since Ajit Pai became FCC Chairman, this article is about some personnel changes.  Chairman Pai has announced that he will resign his position as Chairman on Inauguration Day, ending a long tenure at the FCC, with his last four as Chairman.  In our view, the scope and impact of the regulatory relief Chairman Pai pushed through for broadcasters puts him in rare territory among FCC Chairmen over the past 20-25 years.

The US Senate has approved Nathan Simington as a new Republican-appointed FCC Commissioner.  With his addition and Pai’s departure, there will be a 2-2 split of Republican / Democrat commissioners until such time as a new commissioner can be appointed and approved by the new administration, likely by mid-2021.  A new FCC Chairman will also be appointed by the new administration.