FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Seeks ‘New Spirit of Cooperation’ With Broadcasters

By Chris Ariens 

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Despite the rapid fire changes faced by local media, the chairman of the FCC says he remains “fundamentally optimistic about the future of broadcasting.”

Ajit Pai delivered the day 2 keynote at the 2017 NAB Show this morning in Las Vegas, “After 4 years of participating in panels at the NAB, I’ll use TV terms to describe delivering the keynote: It’s like going from a morning show to prime time,” Pai joked.

Pai, who was appointed by Pres. Obama to the commission in 2012, and upped to Chairman by Pres. Trump in January, talked about wanting to foster a new relationship with broadcasters who are skeptical of too much regulation. “The last thing the broadcasting industry needs is outdated regulations standing in the way.” He’s committed to going through “1,000 pages” of regulations and looking for “outdated” rules. “Given the realities of today’s marketplace we need to see which rules are still necessary and which can be relaxed,” Pai said.

Pai talked about the virtues of local media including, “investigative journalism that holds local leaders to account.” Local media is “a trusted source to turn to when tragedy strikes” and a place where “shared experiences” bring people together, he said.

“I hope that there will be a new spirit of cooperation among us and between us,” said Pai, in his 20-minute remarks. “You have my word that this FCC will go where the facts and the law lead us.”