RELATED:Baker to leave FCC on June 3
Industry players were swift to issue statements in reaction to the surprise news on May 11 that FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker is leaving on June 3 to join Comcast/NBCU as senior VP of government affairs. Baker received praise from many high-level allies, but also predictably came under fire from some for jumping to Comcast after voting for the deal.
Julius Genachowski, FCC chairman: "For the past two years, it's been my privilege to serve with Meredith Baker as the FCC has navigated the communications challenges of the 21st century. Meredith's wonderful spirit, broad experience and deep policy acumen have made the FCC a more effective agency. She's made our decisions smarter and our policies better. I wish her well in her new role at NBC Universal."
Robert McDowell, fellow Republican commissioner: "I wish my friend and colleague, Meredith Attwell Baker, the best on starting a new chapter in her life as she announces that she will be leaving the Commission. It is a rare honor to be able to serve in a position such as a commissioner of the FCC. It is an unheard of honor, however, to be able to serve with someone whose friendship spans the better part of two decades. I know Meredith will bring the same intellect, diligence and grace to her future endeavors that she brought to the FCC. She will be missed here."
Gordon Smith, president of the National Association of Broadcasters: "With a winning combination of integrity, intellect and experience, Meredith Baker will be a key player for NBCUniversal, and I know that her in-depth knowledge of broadcast issues, deep understanding of the D.C. landscape and strong leadership abilities will make her an important resource for the entire broadcast industry."
Craig Aaron, president and chief executive of nonprofit organization Free Press: "This is just the latest-though perhaps most blatant-example of a so-called public servant cashing in at a company she is supposed to be regulating."
Michael Powell, National Cable & Telecommunications Association president and former FCC chairman: "Meredith has been a great friend for many years and an outstanding public servant, as she has served with honor and integrity at the FCC and NTIA. She deserves enormous credit for her policy leadership during the nation's broadcast digital-TV transition. She also always has kept consumers' best interests in mind when addressing the many challenging telecom policy issues that have come before the FCC during her tenure. She will be sorely missed, but I wish her well in the next chapter of her noteworthy career."
Gigi Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge: "We were disappointed to learn of the resignation of FCC Commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker. We have enjoyed working with her on a variety of issues, and respect her dedication to, and knowledge of, the telecommunications industry through her service not only at the FCC but also at the NTIA."
Former Senator Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America: "Today, NBCUniversal gained a seasoned communications policy expert in Meredith Baker to lead its government relations team. Her seven years working under two administrations-two years at the FCC and five at the NTIA-along with her prior career in the private sector working on telecommunications, intellectual property and international trade issues gives her the ideal insight to run NBCU's D.C. operations."
Jim Cicconi, AT&T SVP: "The FCC, the industry, and American consumers have greatly benefitted from Commissioner Baker's dedication to public service and her extensive knowledge in communications policy. We are sorry to see her leave the Commission, but we wish Meredith all the best and we look forward to continuing to work with her in her new capacity."