Revolving Door Alert: FCC Commissioner to Take Job at Comcast

From the Wall Street Journal

Republican Federal Communications Commission commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker is planning to leave the agency for a job at Comcast Corp., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Ms. Baker is expected to announce her departure as soon as this week for an unknown position at the Philadelphia-based cable giant. Comcast declined to comment, a company spokeswoman said.

Ms. Baker did not respond to several emails and phone calls for comment.

She came to the FCC in 2009 from the Commerce Department, where she was the acting head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which oversees federal airwaves. At the agency, she oversaw a government coupon program that made it cheaper for Americans make the switch to digital-only television.

She joined the Commerce Department in 2004. Prior to her government service, Ms. Baker served as a telecommunications attorney for various firms.

Baker’s move to Comcast comes just four months after she voted, along with three of the agency’s other FCC commissioners, to approve Comcast’s $13.75 billion deal to acquire control of NBC Universal from General Electric Co.

Much hay is being made over Baker joining Comcast after approving the merger with NBC, even though she was joined by two Democrats, one of whom was FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a former investor in small network firms whose interests were at odds with Comcast's. The lone dissenter to the merger was FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, an ally of the Parents Television Council and censorship advocate who happens to also believe that private television, radio, print, and web media outlets should be turned into public utilities, or at the very least, have government-assigned coverage/balance quotas. In short, based solely on that one vote, every sane member of the FCC could've walked through the revolving door from government into business.

Peter Suderman's fantastic March piece on the FCC will give you a sense of Baker's politics. Short version: Baker's move to Comcast is consistent with her longstanding philosophical belief in a light regulatory touch on tech issues in general and her staunch objection to regulating the Internet in particular. 

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  • ||

    I just want to say how much I hate Comcast. Government granted monopolies make for ultra suckage.

  • Almanian||

    Honestly, I hated Comcast...till I had to get Time Warner.

    I never thought anything would make me pine for the days when I had Comcast. Time Warner sucks so much HARDER they managed to do that. Fucking Ohio...

  • Rich||

    she oversaw a government coupon program that made it cheaper for Americans make the switch to digital-only television

    So, why are she and Comcast not commenting?

  • GOOD||

    Thank god these regulatory agencies exist to prevent our company from TURNING INTO SOMALIA!!!!

  • Oliver Willis||

    In my blog entry you link I make the point that the revolving door has no party. That doesn't make it okay.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Next up Netflix/Comcast/Level 3 smackdown. Three companies enter, one government regulatory committee leaves.

    Party doesn't have anything to do with it and sometimes these companies or to stupid to realize they are going to screw us all with their damn lobbing.

    Just compete already.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    "are too stupid"
    and
    "lobbying"

  • wadda 'ya mean||

    ...regulatory capture?

    I ain't never herd'ov it.

  • Jerry||

    Still, I would like to thank her for getting Keith Olbermann off the air at msnbc.

  • ||

    I feel the same way about Glenn Beck.

    *shudder*

  • ||

    SoMeredith Attwell Baker went from FCC to Comcast after approving a merger with NBC. According to Mike Riggs she had every reason to approve the merger rather than interfere in a voluntary transaction between two consenting parties.
    That logic supports prostitution and drug deals. Only prostitution and drug deals have less constricting effect on the lives and choices of individuals.

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