Clyburn Praised For Active Acting Chairwomanship

Most of the focus Monday was on the arrival of new FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and Republican Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, but now-former acting chair Mignon Clyburn's ears must have been burning as she got some major shout-outs.

In a blog posting Monday afternoon, AT&T top D.C. exec Jim Cicconi said he knows from personal experience the due diligence Clyburn put in as more than a placeholder chair.

He pointed to a number of accomplishments, including helping broker a deal on interoperability in the lower 700 MHz band. "I know she was personally involved in every complex detail of this because we spent some personal time on the telephone bringing it to a conclusion long after most people in this town had gone home to their families," he said.

"[S]he faced a number of formidable tasks. And looking back on those five-plus months, anyone familiar with the FCC has to be impressed by how much Chairwoman Clyburn accomplished."

The Minority Media & Telecommunications Council beat Cicconi to the punch earlier in the day with a "greatest hits" compilation of those accomplishments for its online mag.

For MMTC, those included reducing prison phone rates, making impact on minority and small businesses a factor in its wireless competition report, "demystifying lifeline support," "revitalizing" e-rate, 700 MHz interoperability, rural call completion, launching Hispanic TV study, and relaxing foreign ownership, among others.

MMTC called it an "extraordinary record of achievement." Cicconi put it this way: "[B]eing interim head of anything can be tough and thankless. But in Commissioner Clyburn’s case, she made tough look easy, and within months compiled a record others can envy."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.