Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Media Access Project Selects Tyrone Brown as New President 03/24/2010 San Francisco - The communications public interest law firm Media Access Project (MAP) announced today that Tyrone Brown, former Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and an entrepreneurial attorney, will succeed Andrew Jay Schwartzman as President of MAP. 

Schwartzman, who has headed the organization for 3 decades, will continue as Senior Vice President and Policy Director.

Brown, who will take the reins at MAP on April 1, has had a diverse career in the media and telecom sectors.  He came to Washington as a law clerk for the late Chief Justice Earl Warren, and was later appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve as FCC Commissioner (1977-1981).

Since leaving the government, he has interspersed communications law practice at major DC law firms, including Wiley Rein and Steptoe & Johnson, with business ventures. He participated in telecommunications and media start-ups, including the co-founding of District Cablevision, DC’s first cable television franchised operator. 

He also collaborated on the successful re-launch after bankruptcy of IRIDIUM, the global mobile satellite system, serving as IRIDIUM’s vice chairman. Early in his career, he was an in-house counsel at Post-Newsweek Stations, the broadcast station operations of the Washington Post Company. Recently, he taught ethics to journalism students at Duke University.

“I am honored and delighted at the opportunity to lead this dynamic organization. MAP has an extraordinary record of accomplishment at the FCC and in the Courts,” Brown said. “I have always admired the way Andy Schwartzman has directed MAP in legal representation of groups that advocate for an open, competitive, participatory communications environment.”
“I plan to concentrate on expanding MAP’s sources of funding and, substantively, on highlighting and combating structural barriers to objective news reporting and on supporting optimal and ubiquitous access to the Internet by all demographics. Both of these values are absolutely critical for our civil democracy,” concluded Commissioner Brown.

“Ty’s expertise and leadership will be enormously important additions,” Schwartzman said. “The transition in leadership will allow me to dedicate my full attention to the communications policy work that I love.”

“Ty’s leadership will greatly expand MAP’s influence and its ability to fight for public participation and access to all media, including important emerging technologies,” said Albert H. Kramer, Chairman of MAP’s Board of Directors and partner at Dickstein Shapiro LLP.

MAP is a non-profit, public interest law firm dedicated to promoting the public’s First Amendment right to access and participate in a diverse marketplace of ideas in media and communications. 

The organization has most recently been active in petitioning Congress and the FCC  against the proposed acquisition of NBC-Universal, a division of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) by cable multiple system operator Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA).  In its work on the FCC's National Broadband Plan, MAP joined with other public interest groups to ask that the Commission frame the Plan around 5 specific consumer protection and availability goals.
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