Meet the Man Who Holds Our Future In His Hands
Soon, there will be a new FCC sheriff in town - and he's not going to make broadcasters very happy.
His name - Julius Genachowski.
By all accounts, he's the opposite of former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and believes strongly in media diversification, "net neutrality" and affordable broadband access to all Americans.
High on his priority list will be to lead efforts that de-consolidate media. Could this mean a reversal of past rulings, absolutely. Newspaper and broadcast ownership rules will be highly scrutinized. Bigger will not mean better under the new administration for either radio or tv media giants.
Genachowski is also a firm believer all people should have access to broadband internet service. Cable and telcos already fear he will keep them from slowing or blocking users traffic based on ownership.
Some winners under Genachowski are likely to be high tech companies including Google, Yahoo, eBay, Facebook, YouTube and other internet based entities. Mobile providers also win, especially those offering wireless services.
Traditional broadcasters are likely to lose, unless they speed the transition to mobile and internet based platforms.
So, let's take a quick look at Mr. Genachowski's background:
Genachowski is a technology executive and entrepreneur with strong experience in both the private sector and public service. He is Cofounder and Managing Director of LaunchBox Digital and Rock Creek Ventures, and a Special Advisor at General Atlantic. He was a senior executive for eight years at IAC/InterActiveCorp, where his positions included Chief of Business Operations and General Counsel.
In government, Genachowski served at the Federal Communications Commission as Chief Counsel to Chairman Reed Hundt, and earlier as Special Counsel to FCC General Counsel (later Chairman) William Kennard. He was a law clerk for United States Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter and, before that, for Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. (ret.). He also served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Abner J. Mikva of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Genachowski served on the staff of U.S. Representative (now Senator) Charles E. Schumer, and also the staff of the House Select Committee Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair.
Genachowski received a J.D in 1991 from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude), where he was co-Notes Editor of the Harvard Law Review, and a B.A. in 1985 from Columbia College (magna cum laude). Genachowski was raised in New York, and now resides in Washington DC. He is married to Rachel Goslins and has three children, Jacob, Lilah and Aaron.
On the nomination of Julius Genachowski, President Obama said, "I can think of no one better than Julius Genachowski to serve as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He will bring to the job diverse and unparalleled experience in communications and technology, with two decades of accomplishment in the private sector and public service. I know him as the son of immigrants who carries a deep appreciation for this country and the American dream; and as the proud father of three children working with his wife Rachel to be responsible parents in this digital age."
Get ready for a new day at the FCC.