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Tristani Heads Benton Foundation

Washington-based public-interest group The Benton Foundation has named former FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani President, effective April 5.

For the past two years, Tristani has been managing director of the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ (OC). According to OC Executive Director Rev. Robert Chase, the board has not named Tristani's successor but plans to do so "sooner as opposed to later."

The OC was a key player in negotiations with media companies over a compromise on Kids DTV rules, which the FCC is putting out for comment at its March 17 meeting.

Tristani also spearheaded complaints at the FCC over kids shows that the group did not feel met the FCC's standards for educational programming. At the commission, Tristani was an advocate for children as well, both in terms of educational programming and indecency, as well as advocating for FCC EEO rules and minority ownership of media properties.

With a bump in title, Tristani succeeds Executive VP Karen Menichelli, who is retiring June 30 after 24 years with the foundation, which has only been around for 25. One of the foundation's key objectives is to push for specific public-interest obligations in the digital age.