FCC Names Chief Economist

Chairman Points to Research on Broadband Adoption and Spectrum Management
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FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Thursday announced that Steven Wildman, an economist and professor at Michigan State University has been named chief economist, succeeding Marius Schwartz, who is returning to Georgetown University.

Wildman, who joins the FCC next month, holds the James H. Quello Chair of Telecommunications Studies at the university as is acting chair of the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media. The late Jim Quello was a one-time acting chair of the FCC and a long-time commissioner.

Wildman is no stranger to the FCC or its current focus on revamping its media ownership rules. In 2010, he was among the academics brought to the FCC for a workshop on the 2010 quadrennial review of media ownership rules, a review the FCC is still trying to wrap up, but has delayed to collect more info on an ownership diversity study.

For that 2010 workshop, Wildman -- not to be confused with Steven Waldman, who headed up the FCC's information needs of communities report -- came armed with a study of 120 markets that found that most TV stations weren't doing news and those that were weren't covering local issues.

But Genachowski focused on other research, praising him for "important research on broadband adoption and spectrum management."