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McSlarrow Is McLeaving

5:00 PM -- National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) president and CEO Kyle McSlarrow, the guy who helped the cable industry step through a regulatory minefield during former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Kevin Martin's reign of terror, announced Friday that he will step down in the Spring of 2011. (See NCTA Chief Departing In Spring 2011 and Kevin Martin's Greatest Hits .)

But don't expect him to leave cable completely behind. He'll be back in some high-level capacity somewhere in the industry soon enough.

"Over the last several months, I have discussed with members of the NCTA Board my interest in transitioning to another role in our industry that would allow me to work more fully on business and operating activities," he said, in a statement.

Since he took the helm at NCTA in March 2005, McSlarrow has helped the industry plow through the broadcast digital TV transition, the original separable security mandate in 2007, a more recent set of CableCARD rules changes, continued calls for the industry to embrace an a la carte model, and the prospect of new network neutrality rules.

Oh, and he was on watch when Kevin Martin once tried to smack the cable industry upside the head with more aggressive regulations by invoking the so-called "70-70" rule, which was an absolute hoot for all involved. (See NCTA to FCC: 'Hands Off!' )

But he'll likewise be leaving as cable faces new and still-daunting regulatory challenges, including the "AllVid" inquiry, which could turn into a formal rulemaking, the possible return of network neutrality rules (or at least a revised proposal) under current FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, and the specter of a more stringent Title II policy on broadband services. (See Cable: FCC's AllVid Goes Too Far , Title II's Nuclear Fallout , and Cable Tees Off on FCC's 'Third Way' Proposal.)

The NCTA board is forming a search committee to seek a successor. Karl Bode of DSL Reports has already thrown his hat into the ring.

But if NCTA goes in-house, Multichannel News identifies James Assey, the organization's No. 2, as a possible candidate for the spot.

Whoever gets tabbed for the post will certainly have his or her hands full. To give you an idea of what that person will have to deal with, here's a look back at the video interview I did with McSlarrow in May at The Cable Show in Los Angeles. And I think we only ended up getting to about half of the more significant items that were on his regulatory agenda at the time.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:17:51 PM
re: McSlarrow Is McLeaving

Yes, that's a common reaction whenever the topic comes up in cable circles.  I believe I overhead that the AP Stylebook was considering a new rule that any first mention of CableCARD  had to preceded with "Much-Maligned." Or maybe that was just wishful thinking. JB

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:17:51 PM
re: McSlarrow Is McLeaving

In your interview, McSlarrow could hardly contain his disgust over CableCARDs -- and rightly so.


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