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FCC Chief Counsel Gottlieb goes to Atlantic Media, Kaplan replaces

Bruce Gottlieb, chief counsel and senior adviser to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is leaving the agency to become general counsel for the Atlantic Media..

The move is the latest shakeup of the highest ranks of the FCC, as it fights for its relevancy as the nation’s regulator over broadband services.

Gottlieb will be replaced by Rick Kaplan, chief of staff for Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, according to a release by the FCC. The agency said Gottlieb will leave Chairman Julius Genachowski's office at the end of July. Sources at the commission said Gottlieb, who was once a writer for, will be joining the Atlantic Media Group as its general counsel.

Spokeswoman Jen Howard declined to comment beyond the press release on Gottlieb's departure.

"Rick brings a wealth of experience and achievement to the Commission -- as an attorney, public servant, and successful entrepreneur," Genachowski said. "He has a keen intellect, great judgment, deep insight into the challenges and opportunities of the modern communications landscape, and the ability to build consensus among a wide variety of stakeholders."

Gottlieb is a veteran policy adviser at the FCC. He served as counsel to Democratic Commissioner Michael J. Copps, a vocal supporter of media ownership issues and the preservation of journalism, before joining Genachowski. Gottlieb was a supporter of President Obama during the election and served on his advisory team with Genachowski. Gottlieb temporarily left the agency last year to work on Genachowski’s Senate confirmation process.

"He has a brilliant mind and a unique ability to solve some of the most challenging problems we face, which has earned him respect and affection inside and outside of the FCC,” Genachowski said of Gottlieb.

The move follows the resignation last month of senior adviser Colin Crowell, who oversaw communications strategy and relationships between Genachowski’s office and Congress. Crowell, who was replaced by Josh Gottheimer, of communications firm Burston Marsteller, will join the agency mid-July.

The departures of two senior advisers to Genachowski comes as the chairman has proposed a controversial move to assert its authority over the regulation of broadband access services. More recently, Genachowski’s chief of staff, Eddie Lazarus, has been holding closed-door meetings with telecom, cable and Internet firms to come to an agreement on potential Internet access legislation that could help the agency avoid its move to define its regulatory authority over broadband.

More on Kaplan:

  • Joined FCC in early 2009 as deputy coordinator of the DTV task force
  • Prior to the FCC, Kaplan worked as an associate at Sidley Austin LLP, where he focused on appellate litigation and regulatory matters. Kaplan also served in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was primarily responsible for litigating and advising lawmakers on separation of powers issues. Mr. Kaplan began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
  • From 1998-2005, Kaplan owned and operated a sports communications and management agency in New York.
  • Mr. Kaplan received his B.A. from Wesleyan University and his J.D. from Columbia Law School.

By Cecilia Kang  |  July 6, 2010; 2:39 PM ET
Categories:  FCC  
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With the departure of Crowell and Gottlieb, the two most senior advisors at the FCC are now a failed sports agent (Kaplan) with no telecom or media experience, and the Chief of Staff (Lazarus) who before joining his personal friend Genachowski at the FCC, had zero experience or background in telecom or regulatory matters. And why is everyone in town surprised that this team has done nothing of substance except cave to industry at every turn.

Up next, watch how the tough talking Obama anti-media consolidation crowd (remember how they campaigned against media consolidation!) will quickly approve the Comcast/NBC merger! The Chairman and his cronies are already looking for their next jobs.

Posted by: FCBAchamp | July 7, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

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