NAB Unlikely to Fight FCC Office Closures.
Inside Radio 2015-04-16
FCC chair Tom Wheeler appealed to broadcasters’ bottom line mentality when they consider his plan to restructure the agency’s field offices, a move that could see just eight remain open across the U.S.
Speaking at the NAB Show, he said it has been two decades since the FCC assessed its field operations. “If you had a manager that only reviewed operations every 20 years they’d be a former employee,” he told broadcasters. Wheeler intends to use modern era technology to replace some field agent duties and rely on a Maryland-based strike force made up entirely of engineers to jet into a city when there’s an interference complaint. He believes they can cut field office budgets as much as 75% by centralizing operations. “I am used to people complaining about government inefficiencies -- but it’s a new experience, to hear complaints to maintain the inefficiencies,” he said.
If green-lighted, Wheeler will use the new structure to increase staff in places like New York and Miami where pirate radio remains an issue. “This is not a diminution of our pirate radio efforts,” he said. “There will be more boots on the ground.”