FCC Sets Up Media Bureau in Reorganisation

22 January 2002

The Federal Communications Commission last week approved a proposed restructuring of its operations, as part of which it has established a Media Bureau. All four commissioners gave the scheme the thumbs-up.

In making the changes to its structure, the FCC said it was trying to “develop a standardized organizational structure across the bureaux; move toward a functional alignment; reflect changes in regulation and workload; recognize that dynamic industry change will continue; and use the reorganization to improve the technical and economic analysis in decision-making.”

The Media Bureau will draw on the staff and functions of the current Mass Media Bureau and Cable Services Bureau, with the latter’s chief Ken Feree in the driving seat. It will handle policy and licensing for television (both cable and broadcast) as well as radio.

The Bureau will also oversee multichannel video programming and direct broadcast satellite services. It will make the rules, settle appeals for waivers and judge on the granting or transferring of media licences.

Other bodies set up under the scheme include a Wireline Competition Bureau (handling communications common carriers), Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (relations with the public and government), Enforcement Bureau (complaints about pole attachment plus some about multichannel video and cable TV) and a Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. In addition, the International Bureau will be reorganised.

News sources: MediaWeek.com (US); Federal Communications Commission