Multiple Washington sources said Wednesday that former FCC Chairman Michael Powell has emerged as the likely successor to NCTA President Kyle McSlarrow, who is joining Comcast in Washington next month. McSlarrow will exit NCTA by the end of this month, with second-in-command James Assey holding the fort until a successor is named, though Assey would be an obvious choice if that choice was to go in-house.Powell is currently chairman of the MKPowell Group and a senior adviser to Providence Equity Partners.One source called Powell’s succession of McSlarrow “likely,” while another said it could be down to deal points. NCTA would not comment on the search, and Powell was not reachable at press time.
Unlike Republican FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, who proved McSlarrow’s and cable’s nemesis on issues like a la carte and cable pricing and network management, Powell was a deregulatory chairman who focused on marketplace mechanisms to spread broadband via cable, telephone and even power lines.
Powell served as both commissioner and chairman, and before that was chief of staff of the antitrust division at the Justice Department.
He is a graduate of Georgetown Law, William & Mary undergrad, and is on the boards of AOL and Cisco, among others, as well as an adjunct professor at Catholic University.