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Michael O’Rielly Officially Leaves FCC

Michael O'Rielly
(Image credit: FCC)

WASHINGTON—Michael O’Rielly’s tenure as an FCC commissioner has officially come to an end after a seven-year stint.

Following the Dec. 10 FCC Open Commission Meeting in which O’Rielly took part in, O’Rielly’s FCC twitter account was deactivated Thursday night. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel issued comments on the exiting O’Rielly.

“For over seven years, Mike O’Rielly has served with distinction on the Federal Communications Commission,” said Pai. “And since January 2017, he has been an important partner as the commission has accomplished one of the most ambitious policy agendas in agency history.”

Pai specifically mentioned O’Rielly’s work on the 3.5 GHz spectrum auction, the modernization of rules governing children’s television and more.

“I’m proud to call Mike O’Rielly a colleague and a friend, and I wish him and his family the best in the next adventure,” Pai added.

“Mike O’Rielly has been both a colleague and friend during his tenure at the Federal Communications Commission,” Rosenworcel said. “I am grateful for his public service. I am also grateful for the work we were able to do together to expand the availability of unlicensed spectrum and Wi-Fi and safeguard funding for public safety and 911. I appreciate his consistently principled approach to the issues before the agency and I wish him all the best in the future.”

According to TVT’s sister publication Multichannel News, O’Rielly will move to the private sector.

O’Rielly’s tenure at the FCC was slated to end after President Donald Trump rescinded his nomination for O’Rielly to serve another five-year term. The decision came after O’Rielly made public comments questioning the FCC’s authority to address Sec. 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which deals with protections for social media companies, policy that President Trump has been trying to overturn.

Nathan Simington, who Trump nominated to take O’Rielly’s seat on the FCC, was confirmed by the Senate on Dec. 8