- The Washington Times - Friday, January 16, 2009

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin will end his nearly four-year tenure as head of the agency Tuesday and head to the Aspen Institute, the telecommunications think tank announced Thursday.

Mr. Martin, 42, will be a senior fellow in the Aspen Institute’s Communications and Society Program, the D.C.-based research group announced.

Mr. Martin, a Republican, spent nearly eight years as an FCC commissioner. He joined the agency from the Bush White House, where he had served as a special assistant to the president for economic policy and was on the staff of the National Economic Council. There, he focused on commerce and technology policy issues.

Mr. Martin said his philosophy during his FCC tenure “has been to pursue deregulation while paying close attention to its impact on consumers and the particulars of a given market, to balance deregulation with consumer protection.”

Michael J. Copps, a Democratic member of the FCC, regarded Mr. Martin as a valued colleague.

“Over the years, Kevin and I had some very candid discussions — with the bark off, as [President] Lyndon Johnson used to say — as we sought common ground on contentious matters,” Mr. Copps said Thursday. “We quickly discovered that we could talk candidly, respect confidences, and, not infrequently, find ways to move the commission’s business forward. When our discussions did not yield agreement, we disagreed without ever being disagreeable.”

Mr. Martin is the fourth FCC chairman to join the Aspen Institute. The first were Democrats Reed Hundt (1993-97) and William Kennard (1997-2001), followed by Republican Michael Powell (2001-05).