According to FCC Chairman Julius
Genachowski, Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker contacted the General
Counsel's office on April 13 to ask what she should do if she "entered
into exploration of employment with NBCUniversal," and by April 18 had
recused herself from any matters that would directly bear on NBCU or Comcast.
That is according to a response to
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) posted on the FCC's
web site Thursday dated May 26.
Issa had asked for info on Baker's move given her vote on the
Comcast/NBCUniversal deal in January. Though he had said it did not appear
there had been any ethical violations, "because only a short time has
passed since the Comcast-NBCUniversal merger, it is imperative that the public
can trust the integrity of the process."
Baker has said that she followed
all ethics rules
and had resused herself from all votes, not just any that might affect Comcast
or NBCU. Comcast EVP David Cohen has said publicly
that the company hired FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker because she is a
"rare talent," in the telecom space; that both she and Comcast
followed ethics rules; that the timing was because she was likely about to be
renominated and NBCU had just had an opening on its Washington team.
The opening was the departure of
Bob Okun--announced April 15--who opened his own consulting government
relations firm with Comcast/NBC as his first client.
Okun's departure followed the hiring of former National Cable &
Telecommunications Association President Kyle McSlarrow as president of