Sheppard Mullin has hired Ken Ferree, formerly one of the highest-ranking officials in the Federal Communications Commission and at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, to lead the firm's new comm

(The Hollywood Reporter) -- Sheppard Mullin has hired Ken Ferree, formerly one of the highest-ranking officials in the Federal Communications Commission and at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, to lead the firm's new communications practice.

Most recently, he was CPB executive VP and COO.

As the FCC's first Media Bureau chief, Ferree developed and administered policy and licensing programs for the electronic media, including cable television, broadband services and broadcast television and radio. He also steered four major FCC merger reviews: EchoStar/DirectTV, Comcast/AT&T, HBC/Univision and News Corp./DirecTV.

Under former FCC chairman Michael Powell, Ferree led the bureau when it rewrote the nation's media-ownership regulations allowing TV, radio and newspaper companies to own more media properties in local markets. The rules were later struck down by the federal court.

Ferree also is noted for having played a key role in advancing the DTV transition, developing a watershed plan to end the transition. Ferree also managed the FCC's entry into anti-piracy and copy-protection matters, helped create the FCC's Media Security and Reliability Council and oversaw the creation of a regulatory framework for terrestrial digital radio.

"Ken's prominence at the FCC and reputation in the entertainment and media industry is exceptional," said Guy Halgren, managing partner of the firm. "We will be looking to Ken to build on our existing strengths in entertainment law by creating a top-notch FCC team."

Ferree practiced at Goldberg, Godles, Weiner & Wright in Washington, D.C., specializing in communications-related litigation, including FCC complaint and rulemaking proceedings.

"I look forward to building a communications practice at Sheppard Mullin," Ferree said. "The firm already has the premier entertainment and media group in the country, but stay tuned. Together we will build a team over the next few months that will have a broad range of communications law experience and expertise. It will dovetail perfectly with the firm's existing corporate and litigation practices so that our clients will be able to enjoy seamless representation with respect to any and all communications matters."

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