Current Federal Communications Commission Chair Kevin Martin just announced his resignation from that agency, which wasn't entirely unexpected. Martin will step down on Inauguration Day (January 20), and then join DC-based nonpartisan think tank the Aspen Institute.
Martin's predecessors at the FCC — Democrats Reed Hundt and William Kennard and Republican Michael Powell — were each Aspen Institute Fellows following their tenure at the Commission.
Martin's leadership of the FCC was sometimes controversial, particularly in matters relating to media ownership and the regulation of the cable industry. Yet many found Martin's stint to be less troubling than that of his immediate predecessor Michael Powell, who unsuccessfully pushed for further deregulation of media, including radio. FMC worked alongside other groups in both the 2003 and 2007 media ownership proceedings to hold the line on radio station ownership, urging the Commission to uphold its stated commitments to localism, competition and diversity on the dial.
It was recently announced that Julius Genachowski has been chosen by President-Elect Obama to head the FCC. A tech-policy veteran, Genachowski will likely have different views than Martin on key issues like media ownership and net neutrality.
To learn more about how changes in the policy landscape could impact the music community, check out our third D.C. Policy Day — which takes place at the National Geographic Society in Washington on February 11, 2009. Musician scholarships are available — click here for more info!