Jim Quello, a former commissioner and interim chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, died of heart and kidney failure Sunday. He was 95.
Among his many career accomplishments, he is remembered by broadcasters as a brother and advocate for them in the world of Washington regulators.
After serving as a battalion commander in World War II, Quello returned to his native Michigan and began his broadcasting career in the promotions department at WXYZ(AM), Detroit in 1945.
Two years later he went to WJR(AM); he became general manager in 1960. He later served as a vice president for that station’s parent company, Capital Cities Broadcasting. In 1974, President Richard Nixon nominated Quello to the FCC. Quello, a Democrat, stayed at the agency for more than 23 years, becoming interim chairman for a year in 1994; he retired in 1997.
Quello was a past president of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award. He received the NAB’s Distinguished Service Award in 1994. He founded the James and Mary Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law at his alma mater, Michigan State University.
Survivors include his sons James and Richard Quello, his wife Kim, two granddaughters and a great granddaughter.