Comcast Corp. has hired Jessica Wallace, a top media and telecommunications
adviser to House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Billy Tauzin, (R-La.),
to join its Washington, D.C., office as a senior lobbyist focusing on Congress
and the Bush administration.
Wallace -- a lawyer who is to assume her new position in mid-July -- will
join a team headed by Kerry Knott, vice president of federal affairs; Jim
Coltharp, chief policy advisor for the Federal Communications Commission and
regulatory policy; and Brian Kelly, senior director of federal government
Knott and Wallace are prominent Republican hires for the cable industry at a
time when some House Republicans, including Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas),
have complained that Democrats have been gaining high-paying lobbying jobs
despite Republican control of the House, Senate and White House.
In a statement released by Comcast, Tauzin said: "When it comes to
broadcasting and cable issues, no one on Capitol Hill has a better understanding
of policy and the law than Jessica Wallace. Clearly, she is one of the rising
stars of the telecommunications industry today."
He continued, "While I am sad to see her leave, I could not be more proud of
her and what she's accomplished in a short period of time. She has been a
tremendous asset to me and our committee, providing expert, on-the-mark analysis
time and time again. Everyone wishes her continued success."
Knott -- a former aide to retired Rep. Richard Armey (R-Texas) who joined
Comcast two months ago from Microsoft Corp. -- said in a prepared statement,
"Jessica is one of the few people on Capitol Hill with deep expertise on cable
and other communications issues. Her mastery of the issues, plus her
wide-ranging relationships on both sides of the aisle, makes a perfect fit for
Comcast as we continue to expand our D.C. office."
Late last year, Wallace helped Tauzin to prepare draft legislation on
digital-television policy that handed the cable industry victories on two
One provision barred the FCC from requiring cable to carry both analog and
digital signals during the digital-TV transition. The other victory was the
bill's silence on whether cable had to carry digital-TV stations' multiple
programming streams on demand.
Tauzin spokesman Ken Johnson said House rules prohibit Wallace from lobbying Tauzin's committee for one year. Until she leaves the committee next month, Wallace will not be involved in cable issues, Johnson added.