Pai Sees ‘Good Times Ahead’ for Radio.

In a departure from previous Federal Communications Commission chairmen, Ajit Pai promised broadcasting won’t take a back seat to other media sectors under his leadership. “Under my chairmanship, I commit to you that radio will not be neglected,” Pai told attendees at the North American Broadcasters Association’s Future of Radio & Audio Symposium today in Washington.

In his first speech outside the agency since being appointed FCC chairman, Pai pledged to do his best to cut through the red tape at the agency so broadcasters can better serve the public. As chairman, Pai said he has “no intention of putting my thumb on the scale” for any media sector.

“Pigs do indeed fly,” Pai quipped from the podium at the National Association of Broadcasters headquarters about his rise from minority commissioner to FCC chairman. He then peppered his first speech with humor and anecdotes, while offering his view of radio’s place on the media landscape. The ability to harness the power of social, local and mobile will allow radio to continue to thrive despite an ongoing technology revolution, Pai said. “There will no doubt be challenges for radio,” he said, adding that he’s optimistic that broadcast radio will continue to succeed “because you have defied the odds many times before.”

Pai closed his speech on an upbeat note: “Good times are ahead for radio and I can’t wait to see and hear all that you do.”

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