Michael Copps, Former FCC Commissioner

Date & time

Feb 5, 2020, 4:00-5:20 pm EST


Annenberg Auditorium, Weill Hall
735 S. State St

This event has been postponed.

Free and open to the public. Reception to follow. 

This event will be livestreamed. Check back here right before the event for viewing details.

Join us for a discussion with former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps and Jack Bernard, the University of Michigan's associate general counsel. The conversation will address the consolidation of media outlets and corresponding deterioration of our civic dialogue—and the central role FCC deregulation has played in bringing this about. The development of the internet has thus far failed its promise to encourage online news and is instead mimicking the consolidation of traditional media. Given the crucial role of media in sparking an informed national conversation, Copps will discuss some options for repairing the damage done in the media landscape, including possible regulation of large tech companies and more traditional media platforms.

From the speaker's bio: 

From 2001-11, Michael Copps served as a member of the Federal Communications Commission, where his tenure was marked by a consistent embrace of the public interest. As a strong voice in opposition to consolidation in the media, he dissented in the FCC vote on the Comcast-NBC Universal merger. He has been a consistent proponent of localism in programming and diversity in media ownership. Though retired from the Commission, he has maintained a commitment to an inclusive, informative media landscape. In addition to his work at Common Cause, Michael sits on the boards of Free Press and Public Knowledge.

Before joining the FCC, Michael served as assistant secretary of commerce for trade development at the Department of Commerce and chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-SC) from the early 1970s to 1983. He has a PhD in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

From the moderator's bio: 

Jack Bernard has worked in the academy for over thirty years and has been with the University of Michigan’s Office of the Vice President and General Counsel since 1999. During the eleven years prior to this work, Jack had been an academic administrator and/or instructor at Macalester College, Saga Daigaku (Japan), and the University of Michigan. He teaches at the University of Michigan’s Schools of Law, Education, and Information, as well as at the Ford School of Public Policy. He is Chair Emeritus of the University of Michigan’s Council for Disability Concerns, where he served for over seventeen years.

In 2009, Jack received the American Library Association’s “L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award,” as well as the First Decade Award from the National Association of College and University Attorneys. At the University of Michigan, he was a 2014 Distinguished Diversity Leadership recipient and, in 2016 he received the Carol Hollenshead Award from Center for the Education of Women.  He has also been a Spencer Fellow and a researcher at the National Center for Postsecondary Improvement. He earned his J. D. from the University of Michigan Law School and Master’s in Higher Education from the University of Michigan’s Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. Jack studied neuroscience at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.