The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) has appointed former FCC Chairman Michael Powell as its next president and CEO, effective upon the departure of current CEO Kyle McSlarrow who is slated to join Comcast-NBC Universal as president of the venture’s Washington, D.C. public policy office next month. Powell, a Republican and the son of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, was appointed by President Clinton as an FCC commissioner in 1997 and served as the agency’s chairman from 2001 until 2005. Espousing a deregulatory philosophy, Powell led FCC efforts in the early 2000s to relax or eliminate long-standing curbs on media ownership. (Many of the media ownership rule revisions enacted by the FCC in 2003, however, were later modified in response to a remand by Third Circuit Court of Appeals.) Under Powell, the FCC also determined that cable modem services are information services that are exempt from the regulatory requirements of Title II telecommunications services although Powell himself urged broadband providers to abide by four “Internet freedoms” that eventually formed the basis of the net neutrality order adopted by the FCC last December. Currently a senior advisor at Providence Equity Partners, Powell has also served as chief of staff for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Justice Department. Announcing the appointment, NCTA board chairman Patrick Essar asserted that Powell’s “exemplary record of leadership, deep commitment to public service, and vast insight into public policy makes him an ideal fit to lead our industry in Washington.” FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, the only member of the current FCC to have served with Powell, touted Powell’s “wealth of experience and knowledge.” As FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell predicted that Powell’s “intellect and vision will serve NCTA and its members well,” National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) CEO Gordon Smith said, “we look forward to working with [Powell] in the months ahead on public policy issues where we might find mutual agreement.”