Baker nominated for FCC seat

Former acting head of NTIA 'a good fit'

As expected, the White House has announced its intention to nominate Meredith Attwell Baker to take the Republican FCC seat vacated by Deborah Taylor Tate.

That news came as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was trying to get a full Senate vote on the nominations of Julius Genachowski and Robert McDowell for FCC chairman and commissioner, respectively.

Baker had been acting head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration before exiting in January.

The collegial and genial Baker had been a good fit for the high-profile phase of the digital set-top box coupon campaign, when the NTIA had to work with industry, government partners and community partners on an education effort for the switch from analog to digital TV.

Baker had been with the NTIA since 2004, when she joined as a senior adviser. The NTIA is the administration’s telecommunications-policy adviser, but the digital set-top box coupon program has put it in the spotlight as never before.

Before joining the NTIA, Baker was VP of Williams Mullen Strategies and, before that, director of congressional affairs at the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Assn. Her resume also includes a stint in the legislative-affairs office at the State Dept.

(John Eggerton writes for Daily Variety sister publication Broadcasting & Cable.)