Former FCC chairman Michael Powell has been named president and CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn., the chief lobbying org for the cable industry. Powell is currently senior advisor with Providence Equity Partners, and will assume his post on April 25. He succeeds Kyle McSlarrow, who was recently named president of Comcast/NBCUniversal’s Washington office. Powell is the son of former Secretary of State Colin Powell and served as FCC chairman from 2001 to 2005, having been first appointed a commissioner in 1997.
If anything, Powell’s appointment increases the firepower of the media lobby in D.C., underscoring the desire to deploy prominent figures to Capitol Hill and perhaps as a counter to the growing power of the tech lobby. Two prominent former senators, Chris Dodd and Gordon Smith, now lead the movie and broadcast lobbies, respectively.
Copyright Fight: The White House unveiled a series of steps that dramatically boost penalties for piracy and increase the authority of law enforcement officials to pursue copyright crimes, including the ability to obtain wiretaps. Perhaps most of interest to Hollywood is that the administration, per “copyright czar” Victoria Espinel, is seeking to clarify that online video and movie streaming is indeed a felony. And the administration also is wading once again into the debate over a performance right, calling on broadcasters to compensate artists when their music is played over the air. The full report is here.
Also: The Walt Disney Co. is donating $2.5 million for relief efforts in Japan…Larry King is considering joining “The Daily Show”…And Brian Lowry wonders why no one pays attention to Katie Couric until there’s a chance she will change jobs.