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A Chat With a Commissioner

Simington hopes regulators “take full stock of the realities facing broadcasters”

In the latest issue of Radio World we give you a chance to get to know FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington.

He’s been serving for a little more than a year since being nominated by President Trump, and is starting to take a higher profile in our industry, with speaking appearances to broadcast organizations.

In Washington, a town full of political culture warriors, Simington seems the opposite — going out of his way to compliment Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, who is in the opposite party; praising his colleagues for bipartisanship; condemning the violence at the U.S. Capitol last year in one of his first actions as a commissioner; and remarking on his “appreciation for the traditions of vigorous, peaceful engagement that have characterized the nation’s 230 years of constitutional governance.”

I can’t say whether he’ll be a commissioner who always votes along party lines; should we ever get a fifth commissioner again we’ll see how FCC bipartisanship holds up on more contentious issues than the commission has taken up lately.

But I’m grateful for the way he approaches the job. Maybe his particular appreciation of his role comes from the fact that he is a native of Canada who has since become a U.S. citizen. Sometimes people who come to our country from elsewhere have a better grasp of its aspirational values than we do.

The decisions taken by our regulators play a crucial role in our jobs, our careers and the health of our employers. Radio World has sought over the years to air the views of regulators who have shown particular interest or understanding of radio issues, including leaders like Jim Quello, Mignon Clyburn, Ajit Pai, Geoffrey Starks and Michael O’Rielly. We’ve also had an open invitation to Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and hope she’ll oblige us.

You can access the digital edition here.