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Genachowski Chief Counsel Exiting

Sherrese Smith, the last of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's original team of legal advisors is leaving, the chairman will announce Wednesday morning in advance of its monthly meeting.

Smith has been chief counsel and senior legal adviser to the chairman.

"Sherrese's expertise in media, cable and broadcast issues is unmatched in the industry, and her list of accomplishments over the past four years is remarkable," Genachowski said in a statement. Among those, he said, included "navigating the broadcast spectrum issues in the incentive auctions and helping cable companies get rid of superfluous rules such as encryption rules that impeded growth in technology and innovation."

But he was not done. "She spearheaded the effort to move broadcasters' public files from file cabinets to the Internet, substantially increasing transparency for citizens, journalists, and others. And she helped close the terrestrial loophole, promoting greater competition in the pay-TV market."

He said her professional accomplishments were only trumped by her character. "She's one of the most respected and well-liked people at the Commission by both her peers and by outside parties -- from consumer advocates to industry leaders," he said. "Simply put, everybody loves Sherrese."

Smith had been senior counsel when she was named chief counsel in January 2012, succeeding Zach Katz, who moved to chief of staff with the exit of Eddie Lazarus.

Smith was named senior counsel in 2011 at the same time Katz was promoted to chief counsel, replacing Rick Kaplan, who headed the Wireless Bureau before exiting to join the National Association of Broadcasters.

Before being named to the inaugural class of Genachowski advisers in June 2009, Smith had been VP and general counsel at Washington Post Digital and before that was a member of Arnold and Porter's Intellectual Property Group.

Genachowski has remained mum on his own future plans, but handicappers are now looking for him to exit sometime after his appearance at the National Association of Braodcasters convention next month.

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.