Donald Trump allegedly asked Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch who should be FCC chair

Donald Trump allegedly asked Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch who should be FCC chair
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Continuing a trend of recruiting members of the ultra-wealthy business elite to advise and run his forthcoming administration, Republican President-elect Donald Trump reportedly asked 21st Century Fox/News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch who he'd want to run the Federal Communications Commission.

New York Magazine's Gabriel Sherman reported that a high-level source confirmed Trump sought names for who should replace outbound FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler from Murdoch. While the ultimate responsibility for the appointment lies with Trump, a Murdoch pick could essentially align the federal government's highest telecommunications authority with the interests of one of its biggest right-wing broadcasters.

As progressive group Media Matters noted, every four years, the FCC reviews "cross-ownership" rules restricting monopoly control of media markets across the country. These rules have at times frustrated Murdoch's attempts to take control of more U.S. media outlets.

Rupert Murdoch
Source: 
John Phillips/Getty Images

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks emphatically denied Murdoch had provided favored candidates to the president-elect's transition team, as well as that Murdoch was advising the president in any capacity, writing "NO" in an email to Mic.

According to Sherman, Murdoch dropped a minor feud with the president-elect — which began during the 2016 campaign — now that Trump has won the nation's highest office.

Trump's transition team is opposed to net neutrality — the principle that telecommunications companies should be prevented from discriminating between different kinds of data — as are many major media conglomerates. Transition officials have also argued the FCC should be stripped of most of its authority, though Trump has argued the proposed ATT-Time Warner merger, which falls under the agency's purview and is opposed by Murdoch, should be stopped.

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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