A guy who knows his way around a radio station will have an important regulatory role in the new Congress.
Greg Walden, R-Ore., will chair the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet. (According to Politico, Walden used Morse code on Twitter to tell people about his posting.) He was owner of a group of stations until 2007; he also is a ham, W7EQI.
Michigan GOP Rep. Fred Upton, incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has chosen the lawmakers who will chair the six Energy and Commerce subcommittees in the 112th Congress.
FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, a Republican, said Walden would play a pivotal role on the communications matters facing the nation "given his deep understanding of communications policy combined with his practical business experience as a broadcaster."
Upton announced that Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, will be the committee's chairman emeritus and Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., will be the committee's vice chair.
NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith called Walden a "gifted public servant steeped in the nuances of communications policy and broadcast-related issues." In a statement he said NAB looks forward to working with Walden, Vice Chair Lee Terry and Upton.
Upton is splitting the Energy and Environment Subcommittee into separate subcommittees: one, Energy and Power, with jurisdiction over energy and Clean Air Act issues; the other, Environment and Economy, focusing upon environmental regulations and their economic impact.
GOP Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois, who, along with Barton and Cliff Stearns of Florida had been in the running to chair the Commerce Committee, will chair the Subcommittee on Environment and Economy. Stearns will chair the Oversight Subcommittee.
Full subcommittee rosters will be forthcoming.
"Walden: Broadband Stimulus Oversight to Be Priority" (B&C)