Comcast Corp. is expected Thursday to name Kerry Knott, a top Microsoft Corp.
lobbyist with strong ties to Republicans on Capitol Hill, to head its
government-relations office in Washington, D.C.
Knott is to be named to the newly created position of vice president of
federal-government affairs, reporting directly to executive VP David L. Cohen,
who is based in Philadelphia.
"We think that in Kerry Knott, we have someone who has an impeccable
reputation on the Hill and the White House," Cohen said Wednesday. "He is a
terrific strategic thinker about government-affairs-related issues, with a wide
network of contacts and a first-class reputation. You marry all of that
together, and we think he is the ideal leader for Comcast's Washington
Knott, who will join the company in a few weeks, is currently senior director
of legislative affairs for Microsoft, the software giant that has become a force
in shaping federal broadband-access and intellectual-property policies.
Knott became a lobbyist after serving as chief of staff to House Majority
Leader Richard Armey, a Texas Republican who retired last year.
In merging with AT&T Broadband late last year, Comcast became the largest
cable company in the United States, with 22 million subscribers, and the de
facto voice of the industry on a range of regulatory issues. As a result, the
company needed to beef up its small Washington lobbying staff.
"It is certainly Comcast's goal to build a first-rate lobbying and
government-affairs office in Washington," Cohen said. "We need to have an office
that enables us to reach Republican and Democratic leadership and key committees
in the House and Senate and to reach the administration and the FCC [Federal
Jim Coltharp, an economist and a top aide to former FCC member James Quello,
will continue in his role as senior director of public policy, focusing
primarily on FCC issues.