There were rumblings around D.C. Friday that the Republicans want to attach the just-passed-out-of-subcommittee spectrum bill, the JOBS (Jumpstarting Our Broadband Spectrum) Act, to some must pass end-of-year legislation, using the $15 billion for deficit reduction as an offset, perhaps for payroll tax extension. If so, they would likely have to jettison the amendment on auction conditions and maybe tweak down the $3 billion fund to pay broadcasters, cable and satellite operators for the expenses of repacking TV stations after the spectrum reclamation. The issue was a moving target at press time, but it looks like the spectrum bill may not get markup as standalone in full Energy & Commerce Committee next week.
There is also talk that if Sen. Charles Grassley can be assuaged out of his hold on the nominations, the FCC’s two newest commissioners might be able to get a full committee vote and full senate confirmation by Christmas, which is what at least two good sources were suggesting would happen. That would prevent the FCC from going to three commissioners at the beginning of next year when Commissioner Michael Copps is exiting.
The Washingtonian magazine unveiled its top lawyers list and there were some familiar names.
Wiley Rein’s Dick Wiley, former FCC chairman and unofficial sixth commissioner in perpetuity led the list, thanks not only to five decades of practice but his current representation of T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telecom, which has kept him plenty busy this year, he told the magazine.
Also on that list was Dan Brenner of Hogan Lovells, formerly top attorney for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Helgi Walker, also of Wiley Rein, who represented Comcast in its successful bid to overturn the BitTorrent decision and start the network neutrality wheels grinding at the FCC, and Robert Corn-Revere, who has represented CBS successfully in indecency challenges and won the Playboy case before the Supremes.
For others on the list, check out this month’s Washingtonian.
To show you just how much the Internet has changed the news business, I was perusing the job listings — sorry, I am not going anywhere, just for shoots and giggles, as it were — and came across these two postings for journalism jobs in Washington: “UX Designer/Developer” and “Front-End Developer.” It reminded me of my days on the farm when I thought “frick mill and debarker” was a law firm, rather equipment for processing lumber.
Having just looked it up, I now know what a UX designer is, but it still sounds like something you would do for The Gap. And that may just illustrate the “the gap” between the wider world of online journalism and me. Sigh!?