Industry praise for Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), newly named chair of the House Communications Subcommittee, was quick to materialize soon after the official announcement Thursday.
"NAB congratulates Rep. Walden on being picked to serve as chair of the House Communications Subcommittee," said National Association of Broadcasters President Gordon Smith. "Greg Walden is a remarkably gifted public servant steeped in the nuances of communications policy and broadcast-related issues. NAB welcomes the opportunity to work closely with incoming Subcommittee Chairman Walden, Vice Chair Lee Terry [R-Neb.] and House Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton in the new year and beyond."
Walden is a former broadcaster who has often spoken up for broadcaster issues in hearings.
"Congressman Walden is someone who understands the concerns of small businesses and small cable operators as a former small businessman himself," said American Cable Association President Matthew Polka. Walden is the former owner of a five-station radio group. "His background and experience will be key as the Subcommittee considers how Congress will promote the interests of consumers while balancing the regulatory impact on small businesses that will deliver important broadband, phone and video services."
Phone companies added their praise, and pointed to Walden's interest in rural issues as well as his communications resume.
"USTelecom congratulates Congressman Walden on his selection as the next chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and Internet," said USTelecom President Walter McCormick. "With his many years of experience on communications issues, Congressman Walden has long recognized the opportunities broadband creates, particularly in rural America. USTelecom and our member companies look forward to working with him on policies that will advance broadband deployment for all Americans."
FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell added his praise to the chorus."I congratulate my friend, Congressman Greg Walden, on his election as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the House Energy and Commerce Committee," he said in a statement. "I am delighted that Chairman-designate Walden will play a pivotal role on the communications matters facing our nation given his deep understanding of communications policy combined with his practical business experience as a broadcaster. I look forward to continuing to work with him and all of his colleagues."