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FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker to Join Comcast

WASHINGTON: Meredith Attwell Baker is leaving the Federal Communications Commission a month shy of the end of her term. She’ll join Comcast as senior vice president of government affairs for NBCUniversal on June 3. She was appointed to the commission by President Obama in June of 2009 and confirmed by Congress in July. Her current term expires at the end of June.

Attwell Baker joined three of her fellow commissioners in approving the merger of Comcast and NBCUniversal in January. The vote included an unprecedented list of conditions for a deal that also was without precedent. The takeover marked the first time one of the major broadcast TV networks would be majority owned by a pay-TV provider--the nation’s largest cable operator, at that. Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps cast the lone dissenting vote.

Baker will be located in the Comcast/NBCUniversal government affairs office in Washington, D.C., where she’ll report to Kyle McSlarrow, and will work closely with Rick Cotton, NBCUniversal’s executive vice president and general counsel, who continues to set strategic policy direction for NBCUniversal.

Bob Okun, NBCUniversal’s longtime head of government affairs, announced last month he was leaving the company to open his own government affairs firm, the “O” team.

Prior to serving on the commission, Baker was acting assistant secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and Acting Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration under President George W. Bush. She administered the agency’s analog-to-digital converter box subsidy program.

She also held positions atWilliams Mullen Strategies, Covad Communications and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association.

Baker holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Washington & Lee University and a law degree from the University of Houston. She is a member of the Texas State Bar and worked at the U.S. Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit in Houston and with the law firm of DeLange and Hudspeth, L.L.P. 

See . . .
January 18, 2011:
“Justice Department OKs Comcast-NBCU With Strings Attached”
Justice said it was allowing the deal on the condition that Comcast license programming to online competitors, subject itself to “anti-retaliation provisions” and adhere to network neutrality requirements.

January 18, 2011:“FCC’s Comcast-NBCU Conditions Include 1,000 More Hours of News”
The Federal Communications Commission leveled seven-year conditions for its approval of the joint venture combining Comcast and NBC Universal.