By Harry A. Jessell,, 11-7-18

With Democrats securing a majority of seats in the House of Representatives, key committees controlling media law and policy – Energy and Commerce and its Communications and Technology Subcommittee – will get new leadership that may be less friendly to broadcasting interests than the outgoing Republicans.

Out at the parent Energy and Commerce when the new Congress convenes in January will be broadcaster-turned-politician Greg Walden of Oregon.  In will be Frank Pallone of New Jersey.

Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, now the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, is expected to step up to its chairmanship.  The current chairwoman, Marsha Blackburn, will not mind.  She won a Senate seat in Tennessee.

It is the prerogative of the controlling party in the House and Senate to name the chairmen of the committees, which control legislation and provide oversight of federal agencies within the scope of their jurisdiction.

Within the scope of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is the FCC.

Pallone and Doyle have been critical of Republican Ajit Pai and several of his deregulatory initiatives, including the easing of the broadcast ownership rules and the rolling back of kidvid requirements.  They were particularly vocal in their opposition to the Sinclair-Tribune merger.  » Read More