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FCC's Wheeler: Cable CEOs Needed Talking To

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler got more specific Thursday on why he had called some cable CEOs—two it turns out—after one had raised questions about the climate for mergers after the FCC decision to oppose Comcast/Time Warner Cable.

Wheeler reportedly said each deal would be dealt with on its own merits.

Asked in a press conference about the calls, he said they had been prompted by comments by Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus at an investor conference, where Wheeler said Marcus had said (the chairman adopted a plaintive tone): "I don't understand the FCC's decision." Wheeler said he called him to say, "Excuse me, your lawyers were in the room when we explained that to Comcast, what is it you don't understand, let me lay out what was going on there."

He said that afterwards he decided he needed to call Tom Rutledge (CEO of Charter, which has made a subsequent bid for TWC) "just so somebody doesn't say I was spinning one way or another."

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.