Gigi Sohn: Pai Should Be Fired

Gigi Sohn, former top counselor to former FCC chair Tom Wheeler, says his successor, Ajit Pai, should be fired.

In an op ed for The Verge, Sohn wrote that if her readers "believe communications networks should be fast, fair, open and affordable, you need to ask your senator to vote against Pai’s reconfirmation. Now."

The op ed came just as Congress is about to take up Pai's nomination.

Related: Sen. Cantwell Speaks Out Against Pai Renomination

Pai could get a vote on his confirmation to a new, five-year term -- retroactive to June 2016 -- as early as this week, and likely by Monday (Oct. 2).

Sohn, who was counselor to Wheeler for three years, said the vote on Pai would be a "stark referendum" on communications networks and consumer protections.

She said that while Pai was a nice guy to have a beer with, his FCC record meant "real danger" for consumers and the internet.

Sohn was a big booster for the Title II reclassification of ISPS, as well as a strong critic of Pai's proposal to reverse that classification.

She is also a critic of the Sinclair-Tribune merger proposal, and says Pai's "gifts" to Sinclair -- restoring the UHF discount, for one, she says -- "have gone wildly beyond mere deregulation."

Pai has long promised to take a weed whacker to the regulatory underbrush, and has pledged monthly meeting items targeting what he sees as outmoded or unnecessary regs.

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.