Cablevision Hires Top Martin Aide

8/28/2008 1:30 PM Eastern

Washington—Cablevision Systems Corp. announced Thursday that Catherine Bohigian, a top aide to Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin, is joining the company as its top Washington, D.C. lobbyist.

“We are pleased to welcome Catherine Bohigian to Cablevision, and fortunate to have the benefit of her considerable experience in telecommunications,” Lisa Rosenblum, Cablevision's senior vice president of government affairs and education, said in a prepared statement. “Her tenure at the FCC, including serving as one of Chairman Martin's key advisors, gives her a valuable perspective and makes her an ideal person to represent Cablevision in Washington.”

Bohigian, currently chief of the FCC's Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, was a senior advisor and legal advisor to Martin when he was a regular FCC member from 2001 to 2005.

“It was a difficult decision to leave the FCC, but the opportunity to play a key leadership role in Cablevision's federal relations was extremely attractive to me,” Bohigian said in the same statement. “I am looking forward to helping drive the company’s continued growth and success across all of its dynamic businesses in this exciting role.”

Martin, in a statement released Thursday afternoon, praised Boghigian for her contributions throughout the past seven years.

“The Commission and I are very fortunate to have benefited from Catherine's insight and expertise,” he said in the statement. “She has been one of my closest advisors since I came to the Commission in 2001, and I have relied on her knowledge of telecom policy and the law on every major issue that has come before the Commission.”

“She is an irreplaceable advisor and a good friend. I will miss her greatly,” he added.

The hiring of Bohigian was an unusual move for Cablevision, which hasn't stationed a company employee in Washington D.C. to lobby Congress and the FCC. Instead, the company has relied on the law firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.

Cablevision’s decision struck some as odd because Bohigian served an FCC chairman who barraged cable operators with new regulations after the industry refused Martin’s request that it adopt an a la carte business model, which would allow consumers to pick and pay for channels on an individual basis.

“We might have to send her to reform school,” a cable industry source quipped.

Martin’s feud with cable led to 10 federal lawsuits initiated or joined by the cable industry. More litigation is a possibility if Comcast decides to sue the FCC after the agency decided earlier this month that the cable company had been unreasonably managing its broadband network with regard to file-sharing applications.

According to Cablevision’s statement, Bohigian graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and summa cum laude from Duke University. She also was a student at L'Institute De Sciences Politiques in Paris and the Maxwell School of Public Administration in Strasbourg, France.

Bohigian is a member of the Federal Communications Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar and serves on the board of directors of Fair Chance, a Washington-based capacity building non-profit organization.

Bohigian, who will report to Rosenblum, officially joins Cablevision on Sept. 8.

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