CTA‘s Gary Shapiro: Confirm Gigi Sohn to FCC

Gary Shapiro
CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro (Image credit: CTA)

Add Consumer Technology Association president Gary Shapiro to the list of those strongly endorsing Gigi Sohn for the fifth seat on the Federal Communications Commission.

President Joe Biden resubmitted Sohn’s nomination to the Senate January 4* as the administration attempts to finally secure a Democratic majority after a year in a political 2-2 tie.

It will take that majority to tackle potential regulation of broadcasters and internet service providers, which Republicans are unlikely to vote for.

Also: Sohn Backs Nielsen as FCC's Audience Data Source

In a blog post as CTA kicks off CES 2022, Shapiro called Sohn ”a pragmatic problem solver who understands what it takes to make innovation thrive.“

Suppot from Shapiro comes hardly out of the blue. He and Sohn were on the same side of a bunch of fair use fights when she headed advocacy group Public Knowledge.

He pointed to her opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), which CTA also opposed.

“Good government depends on the leadership of good people — individuals who are committed to principles over partisanship, open to diverse perspectives and dedicated to acting in the public interest,” wrote Shapiro. “As the U.S. Senate considers a nominee for Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), I urge them to confirm a candidate who embodies these qualities: Gigi Sohn.”

Sohn got the endorsement of a trio of Obama-era FCC Homeland Security Bureau chiefs this week as well.

She has already had a nomination hearing, but has yet to get a vote out of the Senate Commerce Committee, after which she would need full-Senate confirmation.

Some Republicans have taken issue with her tweets about Fox News and past positions on net neutrality, but others concede elections have consequences and respect her intellect and her integrity. ■

*Nominations have to be resubmitted to a new session of Congress unless they have been held over by the relevant committee, which Sohn's was not.

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.