FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc announced Friday in an internal e-mail to staff that he plans to appoint the FCC's first ever Enforcement Bureau field director, Charles Cooper. Cooper comes from engineering consulting firm du Treil, Lundin & Rackley, where he was a partner and senior engineer.
LeBlanc has left no doubt his bureau is out to protect the commission's view of the public interest, and will have even more chance to flex Enforcement bureau muscle if the FCC's new net neutrality rules, which call for a case by case/complaint process for a host of potential issues, survive a court challenge.
But the bureau will need to do more with less, at least fewer field offices. The FCC is closing 11 of 24 field offices.
Cooper will be based in Los Angeles and oversee all field operations, including representing those operations in inter-agency meetings and implementing the FCC's July 16 Field Modernization Order, which included closing the offices and relocating others (https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-adopts-plan-modernize-field-operations-0).
Broadcasters and some on Capitol Hill had complained about the number of planned field office closures, particularly given the post-incentive auction TV station repack and potential intererence issues. But those closures wound up being scaled back from two-thirds to fewer than half.
Until the Bureau sets up the new regional management team in L.A., Jim Lyon, district director for the San Diego Office, which is closing, will oversee the L.A. office.