FCC Names Chief Economist

FCC chair Ajit Pai has named Babette Boliek FCC chief economist. Boliek is a law professor and the associate dean of faculty research at Pepperdine University School of Law. Boliek succeeds Jerry Ellig, who is heading back to academia.

Her writings include several law journal articles challenging the FCC's 2015 Open Internet Order, which the Pai FCC has rolled back using some similar arguments.

The chief economist is the chairman's principal economic adviser and is usually detailed from a college or university.

Pai has been pushing for more economic cost-benefit analysis of regulation.

"Adding an extraordinarily talented, well-respected expert like Dr. Boliek to our team will help us continue to make well-informed decisions that reflect basic principles of economics as well as the rule of law," said Pai of the new appointment.

Her academic research has included on internet regulation, competition, antitrust, privacy, mobile telecom, while she has taught antitrust and communications law as well as corporate and contact law.

Pai said Boliek's combination of law and economic backgrounds will be an asset as the FCC looks "to better integrate economic analysis factors into many aspects of the agency’s work, from closing the digital divide to merger review."

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.