Broadcasting behemoth Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. has snagged a Federal Communications Commission aide to serve as its chief lobbyist in Washington.
Rebecca Hanson, who focused on broadcast spectrum issues at the FCC Media Bureau, will join Sinclair on Jan. 2 as senior vice president for strategy and policy, the Hunt Valley, Md.-based operator of 164 television stations announced Tuesday. She will oversee a new D.C. office that will concentrate on policy and business matters for Sinclair.
Efforts to reach Hanson for comment weren't immediately successful. But in a written statement released by Sinclair, Hanson said she is "excited" to come to the company.
Before she joined the FCC in 2009, Hanson was the vice president for strategic initiatives at Sprint Nextel Corp. and deputy general counsel and senior vice president for business development at XM Satellite Radio Inc. She also was a lawyer at Shaw Pittman (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman), as well as Brownstein and Zeidman.
"As Sinclair continues to grow into the nation's largest television station group, we need a presence in Washington to navigate the challenges and opportunities that we will face in the coming years," David Smith, Sinclair's president and chief executive officer, said in a written statement. "Rebecca's experience at the FCC and in the wireless and media industries makes her uniquely qualified to lead this office."
Sinclair reaches nearly 40 percent of U.S. households, according to the company. The company has television stations in 77 markets and is planning to add Washington to the list. Sinclair has reached a $985 million deal with Allbritton Communications Co. to acquire the company's television stations, including ABC affiliate WJLA and NewsChannel 8 in Washington.