FCC Turns 75


The Minority Media & Telecommunications Council wished the Federal Communications Commission a happy birthday Friday, but said it needed to improve its record.

The FCC opened its doors June 19, 1934, after President Franklin Roosevelt suggested to Congress that there was a need for an agency to oversee all the services "which rely on wires, cables, or radio as a medium of transmission."

In a statement, MMTC chairman and former FCC commissioner Henry Rivera said the FCC owed a debt of gratitude to a lot of people who had "devoted their lives to telecom policy and the public interest." He also said that teh new FCC needed to devote itself to meeting the challenge of producing diversity and competition "in all of the industries it regulates.

Rivera was an advisor to the Obama campaign and one-time candidate for the chairmanship. Ownership diversity was one of the planks in the campaign communications policy and is high on the list of Acting Chairman Michael Copps.

According to staffers, the FCC was planning a birthday party Friday afternoon in the commission meeting room.

For more on what MMTC's view of the size of the diversity challenge, and the FCC's past record, click here to BC/DC.