Francisco Montero

Montero spent considerable time last year helping revitalize the broadcasting, wireless and telecommunications network in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Montero, who was an early supporter of Hispanic and Spanish Language media, has represented clients including Univision, Entravision, SBS and Bustos Media. In 2018, he is focusing on issues including TV channel repacking, the survivability of “must carry” and cable cord cutting. “I frequently consider the impact on the media landscape of the major changes we are seeing in today’s market,” he says.

What have been the most important legal issues in communications for you in the past year?
Working with the broadcasters and telecommunications networks in Puerto Rico, as well as FCC Chairman Pai’s office, the FCC’s Public Safety Bureau and FEMA to revive and reconstruct the island’s shattered broadcasting, wireless and telecommunications network in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

If you could be remembered for just one case, which case would that be and why?
Since I am more of a transactional attorney and rarely do “cases”, that’s a hard one.  But I probably would want to be remembered for being at the creation of the modern-day Spanish broadcasting/media industry in the US.  I have represented or worked with just about every major Spanish broadcaster at one time or another including those that became the cornerstones of today’s market, such as Univision, the predecessor of Univision Radio, the Entravision, SBS, Bustos Media and many others.

If you could be any legal thriller writer, who would you want to be and why?
I’m a big Tony Hillerman fan.  I love the settings in the Navajo Nation and the twists that incorporate tribal traditions and customs.  They also place me in the New Mexico desert…. a very spiritual, mystical and beautiful part of the world.

What’s the biggest sleeper issue in communications?
I don’t know if this qualifies as a sleeper issue because, to me, it seems pretty front and center, but I frequently consider the impact on the media landscape of the major changes we are seeing in today’s market. TV channel repacking, the rollout of ATSC 3.0, the emergence and growing dominance of OTA platforms ad interactivity, the survivability of “must carry”, and cable cord cutting, are just a few of the dynamics impacting how we consume media at home and on the go, to say nothing of how 5G and driverless vehicles will change the devices, functionalities, and consumption options available to consumers.  It’s moving very fast and accelerating so that by 2025 our media world may seem as quaint and antiquated as dial-up and Y2K seem to us today.

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