Wheeler Names Acting Chief Economist

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has appointed Jonathan Levy as acting chief economist, filling in for exiting chief economist David Waterman.

The chief economist is a member of the FCC Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis and reports to the chairman directly.

Levy has been deputy chief economist since 2001 and before that was an economics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“The chief economist occupies a very important role at the Commission.  We have been very fortunate in recent years to have had very talented economists in-house as crucial advisors,” said Wheeler in announcing the temporary assignment.  “I appreciate Jonathan’s willingness to continue his work with the Commission and I especially thank David for his hard work and valued counsel on a wide variety of policy issues over the last year.  I have appreciated his insights on many of the most important issues the Commission has considered.”

Waterman had only been in the post a little over a year, having joined the FCC in November 2014 from Indiana University, Bloomington, where he had done extensive research on online video and the degree to which cable and other MVPDs could impair its growth, an issue that drove the FCC's new network neutrality rules and the theory of ISPs as potential breaks in the virtuous circle of online content to consumer via networks.

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.