NCTA Names Powell President


As expected, former FCC chairman Michael Powell has been named the successor to NCTA president Kyle McSlarrow, who is joining Comcast in Washington next month.

Powell's first day on the job at NCTA will be April 25.

Powell is currently chairman of the MKPowell Group and a senior adviser to Providence Equity Partners.

Unlike Republican ex-FCC chairman Kevin Martin, who proved McSlarrow's and cable's nemesis on issues like a la carte and cable pricing and network management, Powell was a deregulatory chairman who focused on marketplace mechanisms to spread broadband via cable, telephone and even power lines.

Michael Powell

Powell served as both commissioner and chairman, and before that was chief of staff of the antitrust division at the Justice Department.

He is a graduate of Georgetown Law, William & Mary undergrad, and is on the boards of AOL and Cisco, among others, as well as an adjunct professor at Catholic University.

"Michael Powell is one of the most well respected and influential visionaries in all of telecommunications, and we're so proud to have him join the cable team," said NCTA board chair Patrick Esser in a statement. "Michael's exemplary record of leadership, deep commitment to public service, and vast insight into public policy make him an ideal fit to lead our industry in Washington, D.C., as we address the regulatory challenges that lie ahead and continue to help policy makers understand cable's commitment to jobs, investment, and innovation."

"I congratulate my friend, Michael Powell, on taking over the helm of NCTA," said FCC commissioner Robert McDowell, whose name had also surfaced as a possible candidate. "I have known him since he first became a commissioner in 1997. Whether serving at the Commission both as a commissioner and as chairman; advising the investment community; leading the board of our shared alma mater, William and Mary; practicing law; or serving in uniform with distinction, Michael has always exhibited the best attributes of leadership. His intellect and vision will serve NCTA and its members well as the cable industry faces increasing competitive and regulatory challenges. I look forward to working with him in his new capacity."

Noted Providence CEO Jonathan Nelson: "Michael is an outstanding individual who brings great commitment and integrity to his work, whether in public or private service. While he will be missed here at Providence, where we share his passionate interest in media and communications, we know he will serve the NCTA members extremely well. Given our cable investments and partnerships with many NCTA members, we'll look forward to working with Michael in his new role for many years to come."