Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) was given a Senate floor send-off Tuesday (Dec. 8) as he gave his last floor speech before retiring.
Udall, a member of the Commerce Committee, was among the legislators who backed legislation to increase the funding to TV stations in the post incentive auction repack, and pushed back hard on President Trump's attacks on journalists.
He also called on the FCC to make sure broadcasters and cable operators being repacked following the C-band spectrum auction (which started Tuesday) did not suffer interference from wireless companies bidding for the spectrum.
Back in 2018, Udall called on the FCC "to defend the free press in light of repeated attacks from President Trump and members of his administration. That came after Trump had threatened to go after TV station licenses over media coverage critical of him.
“Tom Udall is an effective legislator and dedicated public servant who has affected meaningful policy and represented the state of New Mexico honorably," said National Association of Broadcasters President Gordon Smith, himself a former senator and Udall's cousin. "NAB commends Tom for his service to our nation and appreciates his ardent defense of a free press as a crucial component to a functioning democracy.
“On a personal note, it was a privilege to serve beside him in Congress and to carry on our families’ legacy of public service. I join with the rest of the broadcast community in wishing him all the best in his next chapter.”
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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.