Martin To Exit FCC, Join Aspen Institute
January 15, 2009 at 4:42 PM (PT)
As expected, KEVIN MARTIN will resign as Chairman of the FCC on JANUARY 20 with the new OBAMA administration taking office. But now his next destination has been revealed, as the ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that MARTIN will join THE ASPEN INSTIUTE, a nonpartisan think tank, as a Senior Fellow in its Communications and Safety Program.
In his resignation letter to President BUSH, MARTIN said, “I have had the privilege of serving at the FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION for almost 8 years, including 4 years as the agency’s Chairman. During this period, we have seen a telecommunications industry undergoing rapid and unprecedented change. As a result of the market-oriented and consumer focused policies we have pursued the American people are now reaping the rewards of convergence and the broadband revolution including new and more innovative technologies and services at ever-declining prices.”
MARTIN's frequent foe on the Commission, MICHAEL COPPS, issued a statement praising MARTIN but noting their contentious relationship, saying, "Over the years, KEVIN and I had some very candid discussions -- with the bark off, as LYNDON JOHNSON used to say -- as we sought common ground on contentious matters. We quickly discovered that we could talk candidly, respect confidences, and, not infrequently, find ways to move the Commission’s business forward. When our discussions did not yield agreement, we disagreed without ever being disagreeable. When we gave our word to one another, that word was honored. We understood that we came to some issues with fundamentally different ideas about what the Commission ought to be doing and how it ought to be doing it, but we recognized that each of us believed in our individual approaches, and we shied away from attributing bad motivation to each other. This didn’t resolve all problems—don’t read more into this than I’m saying—but it allowed us to build a working relationship on a personal level that I think was helpful."
Commissioner JONATHAN ADELSTEIN added, 'It has been a privilege to work with KEVIN MARTIN for the past six years, first when he was a Commissioner, and later as Chairman. During his tenure, the Commission has grappled with some of the most pressing and difficult issues facing the communications sector and our nation. Together, we’ve done important work to increase the Commission’s attention to public safety issues, improve access to communications for individuals with disabilities, open spectrum for new broadband services, crack down on abuses of our sponsorship identification rules and take steps in the process of ensuring Internet freedom. Chairman MARTIN deserves thanks for his leadership, hard work and many years of public service on these and other issues. My staff and I thank Chairman MARTIN for his service and wish him and his family the very best in the future."
President-elect OBAMA is reportedly ready to moninate adviser JULIUS GENACHOWSKI to replace MARTIN as Chairman of the FCC.
NAB Wishes Martin Well
NAB Pres./CEO DAVID K. REHR issued the following statement regarding the departure of FCC Chairman KEVIN MARTIN:
"The FCC chairman's job is one of the most difficult in WASHINGTON. On behalf of the broadcast industry, I want to express our thanks to KEVIN MARTIN for his public service. NAB respects KEVIN MARTIN's intellect and his belief in the lifeline role played by local broadcasters. We wish him well."