It's Official: Pai Is FCC Chairman

Ajit Pai has confirmed that his new title is FCC Chairman.

As B&C reported last week, President-elect Donald Trump named Pai to succeed Tom Wheeler atop the agency.

This afternoon, I was informed that @POTUS@realDonaldTrump designated me the 34th Chairman of the @FCC. It is a deeply humbling honor.

— Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) January 23, 2017

"I am deeply grateful to the President of the United States for designating me the 34th Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission," Pai said in a statement. "I look forward to working with the new Administration, my colleagues at the Commission, members of Congress, and the American public to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Americans."

Since Pai is already a commissioner, he did not need a nomination hearing or confirmation vote in the Senate to become the chairman.  

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“I offer my sincere congratulations and best wishes to my friend and colleague, Commissioner Ajit Pai, for being designated as Chair of the FCC," said fellow Republican Commissioner Michael O'Rielly. "His thoughtful approach, deep knowledge base, and sense of humor have been great assets to the Commission, and it makes sense that President Trump hand-picked him to carry out the new Administration’s broad vision for the agency. I know the Commission will thrive under his leadership, and I look forward to working with him and his team to tackle the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities that will present themselves."

Pai has signaled he wants to roll back net neutrality rules and prune back regulations he says are hampering competition. His first meeting will be Jan. 31.

“I congratulate Commissioner Ajit Pai on being named Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission," said the FCC's lone Democrat, Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. "Ajit is bright, driven and committed to bringing connectivity to all Americans. I am hopeful that we can come together to serve the public interest by supporting competition, public safety, and consumer protection.”

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.