Powell Reaction Pours In - Broadcasting & Cable

Powell Reaction Pours In

Polka, Smith, Schwartzman and others weigh in
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The news that Michael Powell would bet taking over for Kyle
McSlarrow atop the Natoinal Cable & Telecommunications Association drew
quick and generally positive responses, including from some on the other side
of the ideological fence.

"The American Cable Association congratulates former
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell on his appointment as
NCTA's new President and CEO," said Mattew Polka, who will be Powell's
opposite number at the cable trade group representing smaller and mid-sized
operators. "Everyone in the independent cable community wishes Michael the
very best in his new position, and we look forward to working with him on the
issues that are important to both large and small cable operators."

"We are thrilled that Michael Powell has accepted the position as CEO of NCTA," said Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts. "As a former FCC Chairman and advisor to Providence Equity, Michael brings unprecedented government and business experience to his new position. Michael is respected by the leaders of both the Senate and House, Republicans and Democrats, as well as the Administration and the business community. The cable industry is fortunate to have him as the new leader of our trade association."

 "NAB salutes the
NCTA for its outstanding choice of former FCC Chairman Michael Powell as its
new president and CEO," said NAB
President Gordon Smith in a statement. "I got to know Michael well during
my tenure on the Senate Commerce Committee, and always found him to be
thoughtful, engaging and a tremendous public servant. Though NAB
and NCTA do not always agree on every issue, we look forward to working with
Michael in the months ahead on public policy issues where we might find mutual
agreement."

Andrew Schwartzman of Media Access Project, which strongly
opposed Powell on his media ownership rule dereg, was collegially combative.
"Michael Powell is someone with whom MAP has
always enjoyed debating policy issues. While MAP
has rarely agreed with him on the merits, we have always considered him a
friend, and look forward to working with him, and often against him, in the
future."

Gigi Sohn, president of Public Knowlege, was
taking an optimistic approach. "We congratulate former FCC Chairman
Michael Powell on his appointment as president and CEO of the National Cable
and Telecommunications Association. We look forward to working with him on a
number of issues of vital importance to U.S.
consumers, including broadband deployment and retransmission consent. We
sincerely hope he will help the association realize the transition to a
broadband economy will take many forms, as consumers wish to exercise choices
of online services and service providers."

"As the incoming CEO and Chairman, I want to congratulate both Michael
Powell and the NCTA on this appointment," said Motion Picture
Assocaition of America incoming Chairman and former Connecticut
Democratic Senator Chris Dodd. "The conversion to digital technology has
resulted in challenges and opportunities for both our industries, and I
look forward to working through these complex issues with such a
creative thinker. His grasp of technology will be especially valuable
at a time when broadband is playing an ever increasing and crucial role
in the delivery of movies and other creative content to consumers."

"I join my colleagues in congratulating my former colleague and friend, Michael Powell, on his appointment as President and CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association," said FCC Commission Michael Copps. "Michael certainly brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this new challenge. I look forward to working with him and seeing him back in the halls of the FCC."

Powell also got a shout-out from the Parents Television Council, whose indecency complaints were instrumental in getting the Powell FCC to crack down on fleeting nudity and indecency.

"We extend our congratulations to Michael Powell as he takes the helm of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association," said PTC President tim Winter. "With his background at the FCC, the Department of Justice and, most recently, in the private sector, we can think of no one more qualified to represent the interests of the multibillion dollar cable industry than Mr. Powell. We look forward to working with him on issues of mutual interest and concern; and we urge him to use his new leadership opportunity to help parents and families by bringing choice and free market principles to the cable industry. The fact that parents must pay for MTV's ‘Skins' in order to receive Nickelodeon is all the proof anyone needs that the system is broken.

Free Press was less sanguine, "congratulating"
Powell as "the natural choice to lead the nation's most powerful cable
lobby, having looked out for the interests of companies like Comcast and Time
Warner during his tenure at the Commission..."

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