The new head of the Federal Communications Commission’s Audio Division is Al Shuldiner, a legal expert familiar in radio technology circles in part for his prior work at iBiquity Digital, the company that developed HD Radio.
Albert Shuldiner was named Friday by Chairman Ajit Pai to succeed Peter Doyle as chief of the Media Bureau’s Audio Division. “His extensive knowledge of the radio business as well as FCC regulatory issues makes him extremely qualified to assume this position,” Pai stated in an announcement.
The position of audio chief plays a big role in how the U.S. federal government develops and carries out communication policies that affect radio broadcasters. The Audio Division licenses AM, FM, LPFM, translator and booster radio services; it provides legal analysis of broadcast, technical and engineering radio filings and recommends action on applications, requests for waivers and other matters.
Shuldiner has held legal positions at DTS Inc. and Ibiquity Digital Corp., the technology development company that launched HD Radio and was later acquired by DTS.
He was with iBiquity for some 15 years, managing all legal affairs for the venture-backed company and working as part of its senior management, according to his LinkedIn profile. As such he is intimately familiar with that digital radio technology platform, which has been a prominent and sometimes controversial part of the industry's technology landscape. He was there during the important years when HD Radio's IBOC or in-band, on-channel approach to digital broadcasting was authorized by the commission for digital FM and AM radio in the United States. He also was involved in multiple rounds of private stock offerings, debt offerings and the sale of the company to DTS. At the latter company he oversaw the transition of iBiquity Digital legal affairs to the DTS legal staff. He has since been working as a legal consultant.
Shuldiner earlier worked for six years for Vinson & Elkins, LLP. He received a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University.
As Radio World has reported, outgoing Chief Peter Doyle will serve in coming months in the part-time role as senior advisor in the division. Pai thanked Doyle for his service: “Peter’s sixteen-and-a-half year run as Division Chief has been truly outstanding. Peter worked tirelessly to ensure fair and efficient licensing of the radio service. His dedication and sound judgment have enabled thousands of radio stations to serve their listeners. In particular, I’m personally grateful for his leadership and hard work over the past few years on the AM revitalization initiative.”