Kevin J. Martin
Kevin J. Martin, of North Carolina, is the Chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He was first confirmed as an FCC Commissioner on May 25, 2001, and was sworn in July 3, 2001, during George Walker Bush's first administration. On April 25, 2006, Bush nominated Martin to a second five-year term on the FCC, expiring on June 30, 2011. Martin became the FCC's Chairman upon his appointment. 
"A robust competitive marketplace is the best regulator and protector of public interest," Martin told the audience at a March 2007 event at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina. "But that doesn't mean that government doesn't have an important role to play. It sets up a regulatory environment that promotes investment and competition." 
Martin "has privately questioned recent Congressional testimony" by Sirius Satellite Radio chief executive Mel Karmazin, reported the New York Times in March 2007. Karmazin had claimed that "prices would not be raised and that listeners would benefit enormously by getting the best programming from both companies," if his company's proposed $13 billion merger with XM Satellite Radio were allowed to proceed. Martin told the New York Times, "The commission will need to determine the benefits to consumers of this deal, and in doing that, we will need to carefully look at what price will be frozen and what consumers will be getting for that price." 
In May 2007, the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) reported that Martin's former boss, Charles Helein of The Helein Law Group, met with Martin to lobby against the proposed XM-Sirius satellite radio merger. Helein was representing U.S. Electronics, "a New York-based satellite radio manufacturer that has filed suit against Sirius," reported CPI. The meeting was described in FCC documents as Helein's explanation of U.S. Electronic's "opposition to and concerns about the proposed XM-Sirius merger and its likely adverse impact on consumers of satellite radio services." 
In October 2007, Chairman Martin proposed an advanced timetable for amending FCC regulations on media consolidation. Like his predecessor, Michael Powell, Martin's plan would relax "the decades-old media ownership rules, including repealing a rule that forbids a company to own both a newspaper and a television or radio station in the same city." Legislators and media policy activists also faulted the speed with which Martin wants to enact his proposals and the lack of opportunities for accepting public and Congressional input on the matter.
In early 2008, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee launched an investigation of the FCC and Martin's leadership of the agency. In addition to looking at "FCC regulatory procedures to determine if they are being conducted in a fair, open, efficient, and transparent manner," the investigation will "address a growing number of allegations received by the committee relating to management practices that may adversely affect the agency's operation," stated a letter from the committee. According to Reuters, one reason for the inquiry into Martin's leadership was that he had been "sharply criticized by lawmakers from both political parties for insisting that the agency hold a vote to change media ownership restrictions, particularly heading into the final full year of the Bush administration." 
Martin, a Republican born in Charlotte, N.C., was selected March 16, 2005, by President Bush as FCC Chairman to replace Michael Powell, who announced in January 2005 that he was leaving the top post. "Because he already is a member of the FCC, Martin's promotion, which had been widely expected, does not need to be confirmed by the Senate." 
"Kevin Martin, was one of the first national Bush-Cheney people to arrive in Miami from Washington, on Nov. 8, 2000. He had been a deputy general counsel for the Bush campaign and before that worked for Ken Starr, the independent counsel in the Monica Lewinsky affair."  
- Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy
- Bush-Cheney Transition Team
- Deputy General Counsel for the Bush campaign
- Advisor to FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth
- Office of the Independent Counsel
- Associate at Washington, DC law firm Wiley, Rein, & Fielding
- Judicial clerk, U.S. District Court Judge William M. Hoeveler, Miami, FL
- Member, Florida Bar Association
- Member, District of Columbia Bar Association
- Member, Federal Communications Bar Association
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- Biography: Kevin J. Martin, Federal Communications Commission.
- Genaro C. Amas, "Bush to Name Kevin Martin New FCC Chairman," AP, March 16, 2005.
- Personnel Announcement: "The President intends to designate Kevin J. Martin, of North Carolina, to be Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission," White House, March 16, 2005.
- Eric Alterman, "Meet the New FCC Boss," AlterNet, March 24, 2005.
- Julia Vail, "FCC chairman: Balance is key - Speaks at media law center opening," Daily Tar Heel (University of North Carolina), March 6, 2007.
- Stephen Labaton, "F.C.C. Chief Questioning Radio Deal," New York Times, March 7, 2007.
- Brooks Boliek, "Martin seeking to unclog FCC," The Hollywood Reporter, March 16, 2007.
- Brendan McGarry, "McDowell's Former Boss Lobbies Against XM-Sirius Merger," "Well Connected: Telecom Watch," a blog by the Center for Public Integrity, May 8, 2007.
- Stephen Labaton, "Plan would ease limits on Media Owners," New York Times, October 18,2007.
- Eric Pryne and Stuart Eskenazi, "Seattle Crowd Blasts FCC on Big Media," Seattle Times November 10, 2007.
- John Dunbar and Eric Pryne,"FCC Chief Tweaks Media-Owner view," Seattle Times, November 14, 2007.
- Jim Puzzunghera,"FCC Chief would ease media holdings limit," Baltimore Sun, November 14, 2007.
- "House Committee Launches Probe of FCC Management," Associated Press, January 8, 2008.
- Julie Vorman, "House panel launches probe of FCC practices," Reuters, January 8, 2008.
- Ted Hearn, "Dingell Seeks Email, Documents From FCC Chairman Kevin Martin," Multichannel News, January 8, 2008.
- Press release, "CAGW Names FCC Chairman Kevin Martin October Porker of the Month," Citizens Against Government Waste, October 23, 2008.