GAO: DTV Transition Should Be Priority For Obama Administration
Government Accounting Office identifies DTV transition as a critical, time-sensitive issue for incoming administration.
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/6/2008 12:08:00 PM
Where should oversight of the DTV transition fall on the priority list of the Obama transition team? According to the Government Accounting Office, it should be right up there at the top.
"Ensuring an effective transition to digital TV" is one of the "urgent policy concerns" GAO has identified as a critical, time-sensitive issue that should be on the to-do list of the new administration along with rebuilding the military and improving our image abroad. That message was part of the GAO’s presidential transition portion of its Web site.
Former FCC Chairman and current Obama communications advisor Bill Kennard told B&C back in July that he would recommend that someone be named to monitor the DTV transition during the Obama transition, saying: "Absolutely. Someone needs to be doing that. When you think you are going to have a new president-elect, then an inauguration in early February, who is going to be minding the store during that time?"
Kennard's office at The Carlyle Group was not taking calls on the issue, referring reports to the Obama transition team press office in Chicago.
A spokesperson for that office had not returned a call at press time about who the team would be assigning to monitor the transition, which is set to occur for most of the country on Feb. 17, 2009, only three weeks after the new president takes over.
The National Telecommunications & Information Administration, an arm of Commerce, will have to be transitioning as it also tries to wrap up its DTV-to-analog converter box coupon program.
A spokesman for NTIA had no comment about any specifics of the hand-off there, but did pass along the following comment from Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez on the transition of adminstrations in general: "The Department of Commerce welcomes members of the new Administration and we look forward to working with them to ensure a seamless transition. We have taken a series of important steps to ensure that the incoming team quickly understands the Department's ongoing work and has immediate access to necessary resources. We are committed to ensuring that the Department continues to serve the American people with the highest level of efficiency and professionalism."
I smell a train wreck as well, and it has nothing at all to do with the incoming administration. The timing of the cut-over is specious at best.
Bill Magliocco - 11/7/2008 6:05:00 PM EST
I think the first order of business should be to get rid of the GAO, they are clearly not in touch with reality. Would be a good first step to cut the budget of useless things.
TJ Johnston - 11/7/2008 2:29:00 PM EST
Yeah, I'm sure this is right up there in the top 5 for Obama and his Administration. Are you kidding me? This industry is so full of itself it is ridiculous. Maybe if all doesn't go well, and people lose their programming for a day or two they'll pick up a book and everyone will be better off.
Arnie Blalock - 11/7/2008 1:23:00 PM EST
With the Bush administration having 74 days to wind things down and
Obama having 3 weeks to deal with the fallout, a joint commission of the
NAB and FCC should present their plan to Obama/Bush immediately. This
would be a "perfect distraction: for the Obama administration if it doesn't
go well when there are so many other issues to resolve.
Dan McGraw / Seven Dials Media - 11/7/2008 1:09:00 PM EST
I needed a good laugh today and this headline supplied it. Forget the economy, taxes, war, etcâ€¦ the Obama administration should focus on making sure people can still watch Deal or Not Deal. I had to read it to make sure if wasnâ€™t a joke or an Onion article.
mf - 11/7/2008 1:07:00 PM EST
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