In a world of constant change—from the new video world order to the regulatory uncertainty of a new administration—these are the heroes in the trenches. In this inaugural edition, Cablefax salutes the top lawyers in media and communications as chosen by our editors and readers. These legal eagles excel in contract negotiations, M&A, the intricacies of the FCC, intellectual property, spectrum issues and much more. Read on to learn more about the industry’s greatest legal minds.

James AsseyJames Assey

EVP | NCTA – The Internet & Television Association

For nine years, Assey has participated in every facet of NCTA’s involvement in the cable industry. His service as a staff member, and later Senior Democratic Counsel for the Senate Commerce Committee, provides him an indispensable background for dealing with the changing industry. Assey is the association’s top executive behind CEO Michael Powell. He joined the group in 2008, under then-president/CEO Kyle McSlarrow. His legal expertise, which has seen him teach communications law as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown, serves him well as he lobbies for cable in Washington.

Lawyers SR 031517 Ryan BakerRyan Baker

Managing Partner | Baker Marquart

Baker’s legal battlefields for digital media and streaming issues include federal and appellate courts. Recognized for his tenacity and skill as an advocate, he obtained a landmark ruling in which a federal court found for the first time that an Internet retransmitter of television programming could be entitled to a compulsory copyright right license under Section 111 of the Copyright Act. A biking enthusiast, he serves on the board of After-School All-Stars, which provides educational programs for children.

Catherine BohigianCatherine Bohigian

EVP, Government Affairs | Charter Communications

Directing the company’s legislative and regulatory strategies, Bohigian is guided by her experience serving as svp for federal affairs for Cablevision and her time at the FCC, where she helped set and implement then-chairman Kevin Martin’s agenda, including media and enforcement rules. At Charter, she helped coordinate the review process for the nearly $90 billion Time Warner Cable and Bright House transactions. Now that they’ve closed, she’s been busy directing government affairs in several new territory states as well as on a federal level.

Burt BravermanBurt Braverman

Partner | Davis Wright Tremaine

Braverman is a legend in communications law. His representation covers so many facets of the industry—from Outdoor Life Network’s favorable settlement with DISH in a breach of contract case to representing program networks in various FCC proceedings to obtaining federal and state court injunctions for James Cable and enjoining a municipality from operating a competing cable system. For Braverman, advancing technology and consumers’ changing preferences for receiving content are the new frontiers. “The regulatory and commercial legal frameworks … will need to be retooled to respond to these significant changes and to ensure that the industry continues to be competitive,” he says.

Matthew BrillMatthew Brill

Partner | Latham & Watkins

With clients including Comcast, Charter, Cox and NCTA, Brill has established himself in the forefront of media law. He cut his teeth serving as senior legal advisor to FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy on issues including broadband Internet access and universal service subsidies. “The insights I gained… allow me to counsel clients more effectively, with a more refined understanding of both the opportunities for and limits of zealous advocacy,” he says.

Lynn CharytanLynn Charytan

EVP, General Counsel | Comcast Cable
SVP & Senior Deputy General Counsel | Comcast Corporation

Charytan’s dual role at Comcast Cable and corporate includes overseeing the company’s regulatory compliance with the NBCUniversal transaction requirements and Comcast Cable’s consumer and business technologies in 39 states and Washington, D.C. “Comcast is a sophisticated technology company with domestic and international issues and thousands of employees,” she says. It’s a role she relishes. ”Issues span an enormous range of legal landscape—which makes my job constantly challenging and very exciting.”

Rick ChessenRick Chessen

SVP, Law and Regulatory Policy | NCTA – The Internet & Television Association

Deciding how to transfer old regulations to the ever-changing industry is Chessen’s current priority. “A lot of issues involve the difficulties of trying to apply a pre-IP legal/regulatory structure to current technological and competitive marketplace realities,” he says. To him, collaborations are important in dealing with new law. That’s something he had first-hand experience with as chair of the FCC’s Digital TV Task force. “Playing a small role in the success of the DTV transition… was a real partnership between government and industry that paid off,” he says.

Michelle CohenMichelle Cohen

Member | Ifrah Law

Cohen’s commitment to the industry over her 20-year career is embodied by that she still represents her first client. A hero to the online gaming business, she is an expert in privacy issues, drafting online terms and conditions, and supporting sports fantasy iGaming and sweepstakes. In addition, she represents clients in other FCC and FTC matters. While the industry keeps changing, she stays a stable presence for her clients.

Maurita Coley FlippinMaurita Coley Flippin

VP and COO | Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council

Focusing on advocating for the multicultural media in telecom issues before the FCC and other agencies, Coley draws on her 30-year background in the business. Her experience includes serving on BET Holdings’ (now Viacom) executive management team as well as other businesses serving African American consumers. “Working for BET in the 1990s during the years when it was an African-American owned and controlled public company was my ‘Camelot’ experience, but there’s still time!,” she says of her proudest career accomplishment. Coley, a former partner with Davis Wright Tremaine and Cole, Raywid & Braverman, is so passionate about diversity and media, she’s invested in several independent films produced by filmmakers of color. “I’m so proud when I see them airing on cable,” she says.

Seth DavidsonSeth Davidson

Member | Mintz Levin

After 30 years in the business, Davidson defines the top legal media issue as the same as when he started: “How do we define the public interest and how do we best protect and promote it?” Expertise in the combination of copyright and communications law helped him participate in the drafting of the 1996 Telecommunications Act and the reauthorization of the Satellite Viewer Home Act, among other media legislation. If you ask him what career achievement he’s most proud of, he’ll quickly tell you it was marrying the “smartest communications attorney” he ever met, Diane Hofbauer Davidson.

Tom DavidsonTom Davidson

Partner | Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Davidson credits his college bartending job as key to his career. “[It] required me to become a good listener and act as counselor,” he says. With key issues of media ownership rules and channel sharing agreements, those skills translate to his practice, which includes representing Omega Wireless in generating $100 million to participate in the multi-billiondollar FCC incentive auction. Top legal issues for media these days, according to Davidson, include the relaxation of media ownership rules and the elimination of outdated regulations.

Kyle DixonKyle Dixon

VP, Public Policy | Time Warner

Representing the company before Congress and the FCC, Dixon fights for programmers’ ability to think outside of the box. “My most important accomplishments involve advocating … to preserve programmers’ ability to experiment with online and other new distribution models and consumer offerings,” he says. Internal teamwork has been required for that success. “I’ve needed to … work closely with our executives to help them understand the relevant law and policy and to develop strategies.”

Stanton DodgeStanton Dodge

EVP and General Counsel | DISH

Dogde’s rise to running all legal and government affairs at DISH is based on hard, meticulous work. “Dedication to the craft in the early years of my career best prepared me for the legal issues I face,” he says. That effort resulted in him receiving the “Legends in Law” Award. But it is the team concept that makes everything work. “I am most proud when our junior attorneys exceed expectation,” he says. Dodge serves on the board of directors of National Jewish Health, and is a member of Colorado Concern and the E-Discovery Committee of the US District Court for the District of Colorado.

Yaron DoriYaron Dori

Partner | Covington & Burling

Specializing in representing telecommunications, telecom, technology, and media on their most pressing issues, Dori’s successes include representing Altice in communications regulatory matters related to its $17.7 billion acquisition of Cablevision and $9.1 billion acquisition of Suddenlink. Dori, co-chair of the Communications & Media Practice Group, has advised clients on media issues including net neutrality, broadband, the Cable Privacy Act and local competition.

Gil EhrenkranzGil Ehrenkranz

Counsel | Manatt, Phelps & Phillips

Ehrenkranz’s strength is his ability to see the complete picture. Representing cable and telcos as well as domestic and international programmers, he has the background to look at issues from both the legal and business points of view. He is an expert in content licensing, copyright and retransmission consent. He counts former Cablevision legal operations svp Charlie Forma as a mentor. “Cablevision hired Charlie the late 1970s and he trained generations of lawyers until his retirement from Cablevision around 2005,” he says.

Barbara EsbinBarbara Esbin

Partner | Cinnamon Mueller

In a twenty-five year career, Esbin’s body of work is wide. Representing the American Cable Association, she has litigated issues including FCC rulemakings and retransmission consent. She served for more than 14 years at the FCC in a variety of senior staff positions in the Enforcement, Media, Cable Services, Wireless Telecommunications, and Common Carrier Bureaus, including four years as associate chief, Media Bureau. Her proudest career achievement is the recognition her legal writing has garnered over the span of her career, which includes a compliment US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor paid involving a 1986 NC Supreme Court decision she had drafted as a law clerk, Nantahala Power & Light v. Thornburg.

Susan FoxSusan Fox

VP, Government Relations | The Walt Disney Company

Performing a job that demands constantly responding to uncertainty, Fox draws upon her FCC appellate experience. “Having to defend every argument or conclusion … forced me to focus on and resolve possible weaknesses in my argument,” she says. Her father and uncle, both lawyers, also are sources for guidance. “My father … gave his clients the advice they needed but not always the advice they wanted to hear,” she says.

Jamie GallagherJamie Gallagher

EVP, General Counsel | AMC Networks

Since Gallagher’s duties at AMC are all encompassing, providing legal support and giving strategic and business counsel, it is no surprise that his favorite legal drama is AMC’s own “Better Call Saul.” “The superb writing and acting on this show with great DNA from ‘Breaking Bad’ make it one of the best shows on TV and Saul Goodman is a cautionary tale for idealistic young lawyers to avoid the slippery slope!” he says. Gallagher joined AMC Networks in 2008 with 24 years of corporate counsel experience. Previously, he served as executive vice president and general counsel for Tommy Hilfiger Corporation.

Paul GlistPaul Glist

Partner | Davis Wright Tremaine

Glist’s 30-year career includes helping negotiate the first state “level-playing field” franchise law with the Florida Cable Telecommunications Association and getting the first ruling permitting cable to use fiber and carry non-video services. “I have spent most of my career crafting a variety of innovative legal and technology solutions that advance public policy while clearing the path for the cable industry to keep revolutionizing,” he says. He also advocates for the Tahirih Justice Center to protect immigrant women and girls fleeing violence like honor crimes, domestic violence, female genital cutting, or being sold as a mail order bride to known abusers. “For me, it is a spiritual duty to work for the equality of women and men, human rights, and access to justice.”

Ilene Knable GottsIlene Knable Gotts

Partner | Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Gotts advised on the Charter, Time Warner Cable and Bright House merger. An expert on anti-trust media issues, she honed her skills working for the FTC Bureaus of Competition and Consumer Protection. She adds to her expertise through writing articles and guest speaking on the issues, which includes being published in the Harvard Law School Forum.

John HaneJohn Hane

Partner | Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Hane has represented both sides of the table in retransmission disputes, perhaps most notably when he took the co-lead for the firm in Sinclair’s victory over Mediacom with the courts and FCC refusing to step in after the broadcaster pulled 22 stations in the cable operator’s markets. He benefits from his background as a cable executive at Pegasus Communications, where he negotiated the growth of satellite television into a full-service multichannel video competitor.

Nathaniel HardyNathaniel Hardy

Of Counsel | Marashlian & Donahue

Hardy’s ability to tackle unique issues, including securing a FM license for tiny Cloudcroft, NM, to balancing nature and the need for the placement of wireless towers along the Appalachian Trail, will serve him well the next four years. “It appears that the new administration … will be much more willing to eliminate regulatory constraints to media companies,” he says. With less regulation, there should be more new issues for him to solve. Outside the office, he likes to explore D.C.’s wealth of art museums. He has a leg up with his wife a weekend docent at the National Gallery of Art.

Kimberley HarrisKimberley Harris

EVP and General Counsel | NBCUniversal

Harris oversees legal issues for the company’s film studio, two broadcast networks, 18 cable channels, 50-plus digital sites, and theme park operations. Filling a big job is natural for her: she served as Deputy Counsel and Deputy Assistant to President Obama. Throw in three teenage boys at home, and she never feels unchallenged. “Never a dull moment,” she says. Still, she find time to give back, serving on the board for Advocates for Children of New York, an organization that provides legal and advocacy services to at-risk students in the New York City school system.

Wes HepplerWes Heppler

Partner | Davis Wright & Tremaine

Heppler has distinguished himself by representing all clients great and small. In his thirty-year career, he has represented Comcast, Discovery Communications and Canada’s Rogers. He also does charitable work for the DC Legal Clinic for the Homeless and City Year. “The Legal Clinic does life-changing work every day for those less fortunate,” he says. Heppler names Jack Cole, the founding partner of Cole, Raywid & Braverman, as his mentor. “He treated everyone, from the firm messenger to the senior partners with the same respect and affection—an invaluable lesson to all of us at the firm.”

Jennifer HightowerJennifer Hightower

SVP of Law & Policy, General Counsel | Cox Communications

In a constantly changing industry, Hightower keeps her legal team on the mark on issues including litigation, regulatory and privacy affairs. “I am fortunate to have close relationships with several of my former bosses,” she says, “and I am privileged to know bright, savvy, ambitious women at Cox and in the industry from whom I seek guidance and input.” Like many of her legal colleagues, she lists Atticus Finch as the fictional lawyer she admires most, with the caveat that it’s the character from the original book, not the sequel!

Henry HobermanHenry Hoberman

EVP and General Counsel | A+E Networks

Helping bring the hard-hitting “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” to air, Hoberman oversees legal and business affairs for A+E and its subsidiaries. That job includes helping the programmer create new and different programming, such as History’s reboot of “Roots” and partnering with the National Women’s Soccer League to air games on Lifetime. “The life of the General Counsel of a media company is part counselor, part strategist and part firefighter,” he says. “Hardly the stuff of Hollywood lore. Although, the time I had dinner with Bruce Springsteen was way cool, especially for a kid from Jersey.”

Kimberly HulseyKimberly Hulsey

VP, Legal and Government Affairs | Scripps Networks Interactive

One of Hulsey’s key battles in 2016, opposing the FCC’s set-top box proceeding, may get settled in 2017. “The administration changed and now members of Congress are asking that the proceeding formally be closed (without the adoption of any new rules),” she says. But she’ll still have plenty to keep her busy. Overseeing HGTV, Food Network and other channels requires constant maintenance. “The primary focus of a G.A. professional is to develop relationships with key influencers and to articulate the company’s point of view to those influencers,” she says. “That requires meetings outside of business hours, traversing ‘miles’ of congressional building hallways and 24/7 scrutiny of the regulatory and legislative climate.”

Rick KaplanRick Kaplan

General Counsel and EVP, Legal and Regulatory Affairs | NAB

The FCC’s incentive auction has kept Kaplan’s plate plenty full. Even as the auction winds down, his work is far from over with station repacking a huge concern. Helping prepare him for his duties at NAB is his time at the FCC, where he was known as a consensus-builder. Kaplan actually began his career on the public relations side of the sports industry, starting his own PR and management company, Kaplan Sports Group.

Henry KellyHenry Kelly

Partner | Kelley, Drye & Warren

With a client roster that includes DISH, Kelly’s three decades in the industry includes a specialization in telecom issues, including compliance with FCC rules, acquisitions of wireless communications companies and defending companies against telemarketing complaints. Having both private and public sector experience—he served as General Counsel for the Illinois Power Agency, where he helped formulate and enforce energy policies—he brings knowledge of both areas to his clients.

Gene KimmelmanGene Kimmelman

President | Public Knowledge

Kimmelman’s impact on media law is felt not only in FCC outcomes, but also is measured in the quality of other attorneys in the industry. “I’m most proud of having the good fortune to be able to help train dozens of advocates who care passionately about serving the public interest and have gone off to become effective advocates working in the nonprofit, private and public sectors,” he says. While Kimmelman may often take the opposing view of the cable industry, his challenges create an open and full discussion for all.

Ross LiebermanRoss Lieberman

SVP, Government Affairs | American Cable Association

Advocating for the rights of small and medium-sized cable operators, Lieberman is ACA’s senior figure on Capitol Hill and before the FCC. He uses his experience from leading congressional and state affairs for DISH. “The smaller entities I represent often suffer the death of a thousand cuts from new regulations that pile up year after year,” he says. “I’m most proud of the success ACA has had in preventing many cuts over the last decade by forcing regulations to understand and take account of the unique characteristics of smaller providers.”

Suzanne LopezSuzanne Lopez

EVP, Business and Legal Affairs | FremantleMedia North America

Behind the negotiations that resulted in the revivals of “Match Game” and “To Tell the Truth” and the second season of “Celebrity Family Feud,” Lopez oversees the company’s unscripted program agreements. She embraces that her job is to get shows on the air and says the biggest misconception is that her goal is to say ‘no.’ “The role of any business and legal affairs professional is to help find a solution, not be a roadblock,” she says.

Jennifer MannerJennifer Manner

SVP, Regulatory Affairs | EchoStar Corporation

Leading the company’s domestic and international regulatory policy issues, Manner advocates for ensuring spectrum is available for future satellites. Her previous stops include the FCC, SkyTerra Communications and WorldCom, where she focused on broadband, domestic and international policy issues, wireless, and new technology. A published author, she also writes law review articles on media issues.

Barbara MeiliBarbara Meili

Shareholder, Chair | Greenberg Traurig

A long-time specialist in video distribution agreements, programming, and marketing, Meili says we’re presently in the golden age of that part of the media industry. “Not only are these the ‘halcyon’ days for top-quality TV content, but the changing technology and resulting consumer preferences make this a fun and challenging time to be practicing media law,” she says. She embraces the shifts. “Helping clients deal with change is … what I love to do,” she says. Her client roster includes several cable programmers, broadcasters and several sports content providers.

Francisco MonteroFrancisco Montero

Managing Member | Fletcher, Heald, & Hildreth

With clients including the Puerto Rico Broadcaster’s Association, Montero was an early champion for Hispanic and Spanish language media. “My family is Spanish and I could literally speak their language. I could relate to these broadcasters in ways that few others could and they appreciated the attention I gave to their issues,” he says. His efforts have been rewarded. “That industry exploded in the 1990s and beyond,” he says. Montero served as director of the FCC’s Office of Communications Business Opportunities during the Clinton Administration and was recognized for his work helping to bridge the digital divide.

Matthew MurchisonMatthew Murchison

Partner | Latham & Watkins

Murchison sees the regulatory oversight of online video as a top issue. “Will policymakers eventually feel compelled to regulate them as (or similar to) multichannel video programming distributors?” he says. “The resolution of these issues likely will shape the media industry for years to come.” The ever-changing challenges enrich his job. “I have benefitted tremendously over the years from … a steady flow of fascinating work,” he says. Murchison has appeared before the FCC numerous times to represent clients on a variety of significant issues, including net neutrality, major transaction reviews, retransmission consent and spectrum policy.

Keith MurphyKeith Murphy

SVP, Government Relations & Regulatory Counsel | Viacom

Promoted to his current post in 2012, Murphy is responsible for public policy matters before Congress, the White House, federal agencies and foreign governments. He’s also well known to trade associations and other non-government groups around the world. With a background on the Hill (he was counsel on communications and technology to former Senator Gordon Smith, now NAB president/CEO), Murphy joined with several other honorees to oppose the FCC’s set-top box proposal last year. He considers Don Friedman, partner at Perkins Coie, as a mentor and gives “L.A. Law” the nod as his favorite legal drama, being that he’s “a proud member of Generation X.”

Elizabeth NewellElizabeth Newell

SVP, M&A, Corporate Legal Counsel | Discovery Communications

Helping to negotiate the company’s 2016 investment in Bethia Communications, a leading Chile broadcaster, and to create Group Nine Media from combining Discovery Digital Networks and other companies, Newell has focused on the big picture. “Our business is global and our company is a purpose-driven international community with diverse characteristics, backgrounds, and perspectives,” she says. She also enjoys helping others. “Helping a colleague become a more effective lawyer … is an incredibly satisfying moment,” she says.

Endi PiperEndi Piper

SVP, Business and Legal Affairs | TV One

Piper oversees TV One’s business and legal affairs. An industry veteran whose prior stops include Scripps Networks Interactive and BET, she credits her success to collaboration with others. “I work as a part of a team of amazing, creative and talented people on a daily basis and we make things happen!” she says. Outside of the company, she also represents foster children. “I take every opportunity possible to pay it forward,” she says.

Robyn PolashukRobyn Polashuk

Partner | Covington & Burling

Representing clients including Disney, ABC, Fox Cable Networks and the NFL Network, Polashuk’s work has included some of the media industry’s most profitable deals. With her specialties including advising content providers in distribution agreements and transactions and media rights strategies, she helped the NFL negotiate the Thursday Night Football deal. “I think the overarching legal (and business) issue for the media industry is the integration of new business models and relationships, particularly with how we reflect these concepts in our agreements and regulations,” she says. “We work in an environment of precedential change, and attorneys and executives alike will need to be increasingly collaborative and work across disciplines to address the complex issues that arise every day.”

Tom PowerTom Power

SVP & General Counsel | CTIA

With an industry pedigree that includes having served as US Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology, Power represents CTIA in media issues. An expert in issues including broadband, common carrier issues, and mass media, he also served as senior legal advisor to FCC Chairman William Kennard. “The boundaries between the traditional telecom and media sectors have been deteriorating for years, and that brings a host of competitive as well as regulatory challenges,” he says, adding that it’s key that those issues are resolved in a way that allows and forces regulatory forces to focus on competitive challenges.

Jennifer Richter

Partner | Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Working on new issues like policies and regulations for drones, Richter stays ahead of the industry. “We are breaking new ground and working with all the key innovators in the space,” she says. She cites serving as general counsel for Wireless Broadcasting/Broadband Systems as pivotal to her success. “General Counsel requires that you think on your feet continuously, and have the ability to problem solve through a wide variety of issues,” she says. Her clients span the communications and technology sector and include online retailers, broadcasters, ISPs, tower companies, MVPDs and fiber optic/backhaul companies.

Richard RosenRichard Rosen

Partner | Arnold & Porter

Representing AT&T in its $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV, Rosen’s expertise includes telecommunication, mergers and acquisitions. He sees net neutrality as a hot button issue because of the new administration. “It’s likely that the assertion of authority by the Wheeler FCC will be reeled back, but the sooner it is clear what the rules of the road will be, the more likely it is that we will get new investments and innovation,” he says. His extensive M&A experience includes AT&T’s $89 billion acquisition of BellSouth and Cisco’s $5 billion acquisition of NDS Group. Biggest misconception about his job? “That it’s dry and boring. Even after 40 years, I find I’m learning something new every day.”

Faiza SaeedFaiza Saeed

Presiding Partner | Cravath, Swaine & Moore

Saeed knows a thing or two about acquisitions. She represents Time Warner in its pending $109 billion acquisition by AT&T and represented DreamWorks Animation in its $4.1 billion acquisition by Comcast. She’s also a trailblazer, named last summer as the firm’s new presiding partner. It marks the first time in the firm’s nearly 200-year-old history that a woman has led the group. The M&A maven’s recent work includes Yahoo’s strategic review committee and Sapient in its $3.7 billion acquisition by Publicis and Amblin Partners in the formation of a new studio among Steven Spielberg, Participant Media, Reliance and Entertainment One.

Jonathan SalletJonathan Sallet

Visiting Fellow, Governance Studies | Brookings Institution

It was Sallet who helped change the course of net neutrality by successfully defending the FCC’s Open Internet order before the DC Circuit in 2015. “It was a privilege to argue it,” he said at a Free State Foundation event last year. While ISPs may not have liked his justification for Title II, his impact on the industry is undeniable. After serving as the FCC’s top legal advisor, Sallet moved to the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, where he continued his crusade to promote competition. Now at Brookings, he’s offering analysis on policy issues, political institutions and governance challenges. Recently, he delved into why DOJ took down the proposed Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana healthcare provider mergers in a Brookings podcast. Sallet’s impressive background includes serving as law clerk for US Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, Jr. from 1979-1980 and in 2008, serving on President Obama’s transition team for technology and economic development at the Department of Commerce.

Louise SamsLouise Sams

EVP, General Counsel | Turner Broadcasting

In charge of Turner’s legal matters across the world, Sams helps shape the network’s branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult, and sports media divisions on television and other mediums. She helped learn her skills at White and Case, where she represented national and international clients in issues including acquisitions and strategic mergers. A perennial on Cablefax: The Magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Cable list, Sams oversees a team of lawyers who handle everything from acquisitions and content production to intellectual property and litigation for employee matters.

Austin SchlickAustin Schlick

Director of Communications Law | Google

Schlick brings substantial and diverse experience to advocating for Google in telecommunications and media law both nationally and internationally. His background includes clerking for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, serving as chief of the civil division of the Office of the Maryland Attorney General, and working at the FCC and the DOJ, where he argued before the US Supreme Court.

Michael SchoolerMichael Schooler

VP and Deputy General Counsel | NCTA – The Internet & Television Association

Known for his limitless knowledge of cable law and policy, Schooler credits his success to, early on, receiving a strong foundation in all areas of law. “Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering required its associates to spend a year in each of its four practice groups—corporate, litigation, antitrust, and communications—before choosing where to settle,” he says, adding that all those areas are used in cable. Screenwriters may want to mine Schooler for sitcom material. “My daughters (who were 8 and 5 years old when I started at NCTA) both eventually settled in DC. They’re both married with two kids each, and a couple of years ago, in a moment of madness, we all decided to buy and move into a house together,” he says. “So, that’s pretty much how I spend my time outside of work.”

Jared SherJared Sher

SVP, Associate General Counsel | 21st Century Fox

Promoted to SVP at 21st Century Fox in 2015, Sher represents the company and its subsidiaries in national media regulatory issues before the FCC. The company, which has over 1.8 billion subscribers, has networks including Fox News Channel, Fox Business Networks, the National Geographic Channel and STAR India. Sher is known within the company for his expertise on domestic broadcast and cable business issues.

Gigi SohnGigi Sohn

Leadership in Government Fellow | Open Society Foundations

Sohn’s influence has long been felt by those in the communication industry. From 2001-2013, she served as president and CEO of Public Knowledge, where she advocated for net neutrality, universal access to broadband and fair use. From November 2013 through December 2016, she served as counselor to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, helping to shape a range of telecom and media issues. Her proudest achievements include the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet order and founding and growing Public Knowledge. Outside of work, you’ll find her spending as much time as possible with family—cooking, traveling, enjoying good food, wine and beer, watching and participating in sports.

Paresh TrivediParesh Trivedi

Senior Counsel | Proskauer

Trivedi has helped craft agreements relating to virtually every variety of video programming distribution, including over emerging platforms like OTT and TV Everywhere. He also advises tech and media companies in connection with mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances. On the technology side, he advises on all forms of licensing, development, distribution, monetization, cloud computing and data transactions. He is actively involved in several minority bar associations and educational organizations. “It’s exciting to work in such a dynamic industry with so many cutting-edge companies and smart people,” he says. “Many of the matters that my colleagues and I work on are first-of-their-kind.”

Joseph YoungJoseph Young

SVP and General Counsel | Mediacom

Known for his intelligence and humor (he originally sent in a headshot of Richard Gere for this edition), Young has been in the center of retransmission battles. He’s penned many a colorful FCC comments on the issue, with one of our favorites referencing a “Simpsons” episode in which Homer scolds Marge for ‘‘living in a world of make-believe! With flowers and bells and leprechauns and magic frogs and funny little hats.” Young then proceeded to suggest NAB was living in a similar imaginary world. He measures success in his own way. “Mediacom has failed to incur millions in liability for contributor copyright infringement, has not paid the largest FCC fine ever … and has not seen any of its executives sent to federal prison,” he quips.

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