Former FCC Media Bureau Head Out at CPB

Ken Ferree was pretty much Michael Powell’s right-hand man on media regulation issues–such as loosening ownership restrictions. So it was no surprise when he left the FCC when Powell did, only to take a sweet position as Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

What is a surprise is that Ferree has abruptly resigned. Ferree had wanted the top job at CPB, but that was given to the more docile Bush crony Patricia Harrison. Which isn’t to say that Ferree isn’t a good right-wing Republican soldier — he’s just a little bit more of his own man, and he also might be a little tainted by his Powell association, since Mikey made like bull in a china shop during the ownership rules revision.

There is some speculation that Ferree was pushed as part of an effort to whitewash the appearance of a conservative takeover of the CPB.

Ferree, of course, has a soft landing, joining California law firm Sheppard & Mullin, but staying in DC to use all his insider connections to advance the agendas of clients in the broadcast and media biz.

The new VP and COO will be Fred DeMarco, who at least has been at the CPB since 1988. But prior to the CPB, he was vice president and general manager of NBC-owned WRC TV in Washington, DC. There he produced the conservative talk program, The McLaughlin Group — not exactly progressive credentials.