Washington Mourns Veteran Regulator Jim Quello

WASHINGTON: Reactions to the death of former Federal Communications Commissioner Jim Quello are pouring in from all corners of the Capital City. Quello passed away Jan. 25 at his Alexandria, Va., home on Jan. 25 of heart and kidney failure. He was 95. Quello served at the commission from 1974 to 1997, acting as interim chairman in 1994.

Current FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski was a top aide to Chairmen Reed Hundt and Bill Kennard during the final years of Quello's time at the commission. Genachowski said Quello was known as the “dean” of the FCC and remembers he was known as “boss” to the many staffers who worked for him.

“He was a role model to generations of FCC employees and advocates for his decency, personal charm and commitment to his work. He leaves behind an extraordinary legacy of service to the FCC, the communications industry and the American people.”

Commissioner Michael Copps saw Quello two days before his death; he stated that the former commissioner was still talking about issues and about the agency “he loved so much and served so long, so well.” Copps added: “You can tell a lot about how a person lived by the way he or she dies. Jim Quello died with grace, confidence, a calm spirit and pride in a life well lived.”

Quello mentored Commissioner Robert McDowell among many others. McDowell said Quello personified the best attributes of America’s “Greatest Generation.”

“Prevailing over the hardships brought about by the Great Depression, without hesitation he risked his own life in the struggle to defeat fascism in Europe during World War II,” McDowell said. “In peacetime, he helped build Michigan’s broadcasting industry before being asked to serve his country once more on the FCC.”

NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith stated, “NAB mourns the passing of Jim Quello, who was a war hero, a friend to free and local broadcasting, and an extraordinarily bipartisan public servant during a remarkable 24 years at the FCC. We have lost an American original.”

The NAB board Monday passed a resolution honoring Quello. -- from Radio World, which also has an obituary for Quello here.