Gigi Sohn's Involvement With Locast Doesn't Disqualify Her for FCC

Guest blog author Preston Padden (Image credit: N/A)

On Saturday (January 29), The Wall Street Journal published its fourth — fourtheditorial opposing the Federal Communications Commission nomination of Gigi Sohn. The editorial accuses Sohn of “prevarication” about the TV service Locast” But the facts in the Journal’s own editorial show that she told the truth — the settlement money came from Locast’s parent, Sports Fans Coalition of NY. Yes, the court judgment was larger than the settlement. But the plaintiffs reasonably settled for taking every last penny that SFCNY had!

As a lifelong broadcaster and Disney copyright advocate, I agree with the plaintiffs against Locast on the merits of the copyright issue. But these are legitimate questions about the law on which reasonable people can disagree.

Ms. Sohn’s association with Locast itself should not be disqualifying. For example, the prominent media and internet entrepreneur Barry Diller, former business partner of the WSJ’s owner, was associated with a venture almost identical to Locast called Aereo. I doubt that the Journal would editorialize that the highly regarded Mr. Diller is unfit for a prominent federal nomination.

Gigi Sohn is among the most qualified nominees in the history of the FCC. As a former News Corp. senior exec, I am at a loss to explain News Corp.’s all-out offensive against Ms. Sohn in both the WSJ and the New York Post! ■

Preston Padden

Preston Padden is a former top government relations executive for media companies such as Fox and The Walt Disney Co.