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Knapp Signs Off at FCC

Julie Knapp, the retiring chief of the FCC's Office of Engineering & Technology after 45 years at the agency, got a send-off at the FCC's final meeting of the year Thursday (Dec. 12) and Knapp's final meeting as a staffer. 

Julie Knapp

Julie Knapp

After an emotional Knapp introduced the 5.9 GHz spectrum item at the meeting, the commissioners deferred the accolades until the vote on the meeting's final item. 

Related: FCC's Top Engineer Julius Knapp Retiring

FCC chair Ajit Pai recognized a number of retires--with a total of 180 years collective service--but reserved the most time for Knapp, whose retirement he said "just stinks." 

Pai pointed out that under Knapp's leadership, the FCC's staff had actually won an Emmy in 2009 for technical merit--Pai hefted the statue, with difficulty, as proof. Pai pointed out that Knapp had done the heavy, and sometimes politically treacherous, lifting on spectrum issues.  

Knapp will be succeeded by deputy chief Ron Repasi as acting chief. 

Pai also announced a number of FCC staff exits, including spokesfolk Mark Wigfield and Neil Grace. 

Pai said all were the "best and the brightest" and the FCC and thanked them for their service. "With that, I'd like to thank the academy," he joked, lifting the Emmy one more time before gaveling the meeting to a close.  

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.