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NCTA's Legal Eagle Takes Flight

After more than 16 years of fighting cable's legal battles, Dan Brenner, the longtime legal counsel for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, is leaving to join a Washington telecommunications, media, and entertainment law practice.

Brenner, whose last day as senior vice president  for law and public policy at the NCTA is Feb. 28, will join Hogan & Hartson, an international law firm in Washington, D.C. with more than 1,100 lawyers in 27 offices worldwide. A search is underway for his successor.

Brenner led the NCTA's biggest legal battles during a time of major regulatory challenges as cable transformed from a one-way antennae service to a full-service provider of voice, video and data, and the industry's regulatory issues exploded. A familiar face at cable trade shows and panels, Brenner said he thought it was time for a change, coinciding with a new administration.

"Dan has not only been a leader but a mentor and a friend to all of us at NCTA and many colleagues throughout the cable industry," NCTA president & CEO Kyle McSlarrow said. "The cable industry has been fortunate to have such a dedicated professional who is truly passionate about our business and thoroughly enjoys the many challenges of telecommunications law."

McSlarrow said that Brenner will continue to consult for NCTA and provide guidance on a variety of regulatory issues. In a news release, the NCTA cited several regulatory vistories led by Brenner, including:

*a U.S. Supreme Court victory in the Brand X case which upheld the FCC's classification of cable broadband service as an interstate information service;

*a U.S. Supreme Court victory in the Gulf Power case affirming the FCC's rate formula for pole attachments used by cable operators to provide broadband services;

*successfully avoided the imposition of additional must carry and multicast must carry obligations on cable's video service.

Said Brenner: "It's been an honor to represent this industry in its regulatory affairs and to help make these changes happen. I thank the board and my devoted NCTA colleagues for all their support."

Prior to his work at NCTA, Brenner served as director of the Communications Law Program and as a member of the faculty at UCLA Law School. Brenner was senior legal advisor to FCC chairman Mark Fowler from 1981 to 1986.