FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has officially named Michelle Carey as chief of the FCC Media Bureau after her stint as acting director.
“As we work to modernize our media rules to match today’s marketplace, we will continue to rely on Michelle’s experience and talent,” said Pai in a statement. “As acting chief, Michelle has already started the agency’s review of its media regulations, advanced the next-generation transmission standard for TV broadcasters, worked to revitalize AM Radio services, and eased burdens on noncommercial broadcasters. I am very pleased she has agreed to continue this work as bureau chief.”
Carey takes on the role of Media Bureau chief after serving six years as deputy chief for the Bureau. Prior to that, she served as a senior adviser at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and a senior legal adviser to former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin.
The Media Bureau handles policy and licensing programs for cable television, broadcast television and radio, as well as post-licensing for satellite services.
Carey is taking the reins shortly after the FCC officially opened up review of media ownership rules. Docket 17-105, or “Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative,” showed up (PDF) in late April after Pai promised NAB Show goers in Las Vegas that extensive review was imminent.
“The last thing broadcast needs are outdated rules standing in their way,” Pai said. “We want to make sure the rules match the reality of 2017, not 1987.”
During his speech, Pai promised a “comprehensive review” this spring of rules governing broadcasters and pay TV operators. He specifically noted that certain rules should be examined and changed to help out small businesses. He also said the FCC will work to allow experimentation with the new ATSC 3.0 TV standards and wipe out the “main studio” rule requiring broadcasters to maintain a central studio in their licensed markets.