James H. Quello, a former Detroit broadcaster who served as a member of the Federal Communications Commission for 24 years, including as acting chairman of the agency in 1993, died Jan. 25 at his Alexandria, Va., home. He was 95.
A veteran of WWII, Michigan-born Quello was a former vice president and station manager of WJR Detroit as well as VP of parent company Capital Cities Broadcasting. He was named to the FCC in 1974 by President Richard Nixon in an appointment that was controversial at the time given Quello’s broadcast industry background.
Before retiring in 1997, he drew bipartisan respect for his strong commitment to public service, congenial personality and vision.
In his younger years, Quello was a Variety stringer in Detroit, and he enjoyed reminding Variety scribes about his tenure at the paper whenever he disapproved of its coverage of his FCC activities.
He was a past president of the Michigan Assn. of Broadcasters and recipient of the organization’s lifetime achievement award. He also received the National Assn. of Broadcasters’ Distinguished Service Award in 1994.
Quello is survived by his wife, Kim; two sons; two granddaughters; and one great-granddaughter.