May 27, 2013 |
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder refuses to change the name of his team. Should we do it for him? More specifically, should the media no longer recognize the official designation? A former chair of the Federal Communications Commission recently told me the answer is yes. "I would like to suggest something to you: Why don't you in your own job think about not using the derogatory name that Mr. Snyder has chosen?" Reed Hundt asked. "Why not? Why doesn't it start on a person-by-person basis?
January 16, 2009 |
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Kevin Martin, is resigning from the federal agency on the same day as President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration - Tuesday. Martin, the FCC chairman since 2005, repeatedly criticized high cable rates and advocated more stringent decency standards on cable and broadcast television. He also supported a wireless technology that would make the Internet more widely available to Americans. He didn't see this goal realized. Martin will join the Aspen Institute in Washington as a senior fellow for the institute's Communications and Society Program.
May 28, 1997 |
Reed Hundt, who presided over a remarkable era of change in the nation's communications industry, announced yesterday that he was resigning as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Supporters call him the most influential person to ever hold his job. Critics complain that he has been one of the greatest obstacles to a free market in telecommunications. During Hundt's four-year tenure, the FCC moved from a moribund federal agency, concerned mostly with setting long-distance telephone rates and granting TV and radio licenses, to one at the forefront of implementing the administration's information-age policies.
March 14, 1997 |
A government that's running 12-digit deficits needs all the money it can get. So you might wonder why Congress and the President are on the brink of giving away more broadcast licenses (estimated value: $50 billion) to big TV companies in what amounts to another welfare program for rich white guys. These broadcasters, of course, already have free licenses. They want to keep those for another 15 years or so and take new ones that will allow them an extra slice of the airwaves. Originally, they said that slice was going to be used for high-definition TV (HDTV)
February 12, 1997 |
When you're trying to figure out one of those interlocking wooden puzzles, sometimes it helps to turn it upside down. That is what happened to me one morning recently when I had breakfast with Reed Hundt, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. The topic was campaign finance legislation - or so I thought. But when I remarked that the history of campaign finance laws and regulations was fraught with unintended consequences, Hundt corrected me. "We're not talking about campaign finance legislation," he said.
November 7, 1996 |
As America races toward the 21st century, a feud between the computer and broadcast industries is keeping one piece of technology - the family TV - stuck in the 1940s. Broadcasters say they want the government to set detailed standards that will ensure the reliable operation of a new generation of super-clear digital TVs. But computer makers say the new standards should be more flexible so they can realize a long-held dream of transforming the TV into a more powerful communications tool.
July 11, 1996 |
As recently as last week, the Federal Communications Commission seemed certain to enact a rule requiring every broadcast television station in the country to schedule three hours a week of quality children's programming. But that expectation came to an end Monday night, when FCC commissioner James Quello told the commission in a five-page memo that he "cannot and will not" vote for the regulation as written by the staff. Last month, Quello had said he would support a three-hour rule, thus creating a 3-1 vote on the commission, if broadcasters were allowed some flexibility in meeting the standard.
June 23, 1996 |
Peggy Charren, a woman with a sparrow's frame and a pit bull's determination, was practically dancing through space the other day, contemplating the new rules the Federal Communications Commission is writing to assure more hours of good television for children. "Can you imagine how I feel, after all these years?" she asked cheerfully during an interview last week. The founder and guiding spirit behind Action for Children's Television, Charren has for 30 years been the country's most insistent voice for less violence and more learning on television.
May 30, 1996 |
A letter signed by a majority of House members urges federal regulators to require TV stations to air at least three hours a week of educational shows for children. The letter, initiated by Rep. Edward Markey (D., Mass.) and bearing the signatures of 220 lawmakers, was sent yesterday to the Federal Communications Commission. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R., Ga.) and other GOP leaders did not sign it. "I think this is the turning point," said children's television activist Peggy Charren, who believed the letter would pressure the FCC into action.
January 13, 1996 |
People care about what they see on their television sets, listen to on their radios or download from the Internet - but try to arouse them on the topic of these new communications laws making everything more expensive and less democratic. Their eyes film over. It's like trying to interest a fly-fisherman in copyright law. It was the same way with health "reform. " Beaten senseless by flow charts, people gave up and reserved whatever strength remained to them for that last lurch to the emergency room.