FCC Bill Gets New Moniker

The FCC Reathorization bill substitute amendment being marked up Wednesday (Feb. 14) in the House Energy & Commerce Committee has been named in honor of the former staff director of the committee.

According to a copy of the bill, its short title is the "Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act of 2018," or "RAY BAUM's Act" for even shorter.

Baum, who was much admired on the committee and beyond, died last week after a long battle with cancer.

He was a longtime colleague and friend of Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.). A committee source said it was Walden's tribute to Baum's dedication to public policy. Walden confirmed that in hailing Baum at the the hearing.

"Ray was a decent person to his core," said an emotional Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), former ranking member of the Communications Subcommittee.

Baum was also the former VP of government relations for the National Association of Broadcasters, so it is appropriate that the bill includes a provision strongly backed by NAB that allocates more money for TV stations in the post-incentive auction TV station repack.

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.