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Official Word On FCC Chairman Imminent.

According toPoliticoandBloomberg, citing unnamed sources, Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai is to be officially selected as Chairman — and not interim Chairman — by President Donald Trump today.

The move is widely expected, and allows the new administration to appoint a pair of Commissioners. One will be a Republican. The other, while traditionally a Democrat, could be filled by anyone who is not a registered Republican.

Ahead of the official announcement of Pai's naming as permanent FCC Commissioner, the NAB was practically gleeful over the move.

"Without qualification, NAB supports President Trump's selection of Ajit Pai to the position of FCC chairman," said NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith. "Pai is a known quantity who brings integrity, good humor and a fierce intellect to the Commission. We look forward to working with him and his colleagues on a pro-growth FCC agenda that benefits tens of millions of Americans who rely on free broadcast radio and TV for the most popular content, credible news, and lifeline local emergency alerts."

Pai is also an avid Tweeter, and his retweet on Saturday of a post referring to him as FCC Commissioner all but confirms his ascension.

MMTC SET TO HOST NEW CHAIRMAN

The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) "warmly congratulates FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai on his reported selection as chairman of the agency," President/CEO Kim Keenan said late Friday.

In fact, Pai will make one of his first speaking appearances as Commissioner at the FCC Commissioners' Breakfast at theMMTC's eighthannual Broadband and Social Justice Summit on Feb. 7.

"Since becoming a commissioner in 2012, Commissioner Pai has been on the right side of a number of issues supported by MMTC, including a host of practical approaches to advancing diversity and inclusion, relaxation of the broadcast foreign investment rules, and authorization of FM translators for struggling AM stations," Keenan said. "His proposals for incentivizing broadband investment in underserved communities are grounded in the best work of [former NFL quarterback and late Republican politician] Jack Kemp. Moreover, he has demonstrated a willingness to consider moving away from 'silos' in communication industries toward platform neutrality -- a theme that originated with former FCC Chairman Bill Kennard. This outlook has the potential to open the doors to ownership opportunities for people of color."

Keenan continued, "Pai has demonstrated that he is an innovative, knowledgeable, and fair Commissioner whose door is open to hear all sides of an issue. We look forward to working with him as we continue our 30-year mission of promoting policies that advance diversity in media, telecom, and tech ownership; close the digital divide; and ensure equal access to opportunity for all Americans."

Pai is the senior Republican on the Commission. He was nominated to the FCC by President Barack Obama and was confirmed unanimously by the Senate on May 7, 2012.

Learn more about Pai's policy stance by reading his biography on the FCC website, by clicking here.

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Publication:Radio and Television Business Report (RBR+TVBR)
Date:Jan 22, 2017
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