Alfred C. Sikes

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Alfred C. Sikes
Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
In office
August 8, 1989 – January 19, 1993
Preceded by Dennis R. Patrick
Succeeded by James H. Quello
Personal details
Born (1939-12-16) December 16, 1939 (age 74)
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Martha Sikes
Children Deborah, Christine, Marcia
Residence Easton, MD
Alma mater Westminster College (B.A.)
University of Missouri School of Law (L.L.B.)
Occupation Business consultant

Alfred C. Sikes (born December 16, 1939 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri)[1][2] is a Republican, former U.S. administrator of the National Telecommunication and Information Administration, who served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from August 8, 1989 to January 19, 1993.[3] He received a B.A. degree for political science from Westminster College in 1961 and an L.L.B. degree from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1964.[1][4] In 2000, Sikes founded the non-profit Reading Excellence and Discovery Foundation[5] and served as chairman of the Trinity Forum's board of trustees.[2][6]

Career[edit]

Sikes worked at Allen, Woolsey and Fisher, a law firm, from 1964–1968, and was assistant Missouri Attorney General from 1969–1972. He directed Missouri's Department of Community Affairs from 1973–1974, and the state's Department of Consumer Affairs, Regulation, and Licensing from 1974–1976. From 1977–1985, Sikes worked in the media industry starting, in 1978, Sikes and Associates which owned and managed radio properties and provided consulting services. In 1986, he was nominated by President Reagan to become Assistant Secretary of Commerce and director of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.[1][7] U.S. President George H. W. Bush nominated Sikes to be a member of the FCC on June 28, 1989, and he was designated as the commission's chairperson after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate.[1][8]

Chairman of the FCC[edit]

Bush chose Sikes to be chairperson over attorney Sherrie P. Marshall, whom he also nominated as a commissioner, because Sikes was thought to have a good relationship with Congress[9] and be more likely to pass the Senate confirmation.[8] During his tenure as FCC chairman, Sikes supported deregulation[9] and established the framework for digital high-definition television.[10] Sikes also carved 100 mHz out of the radio spectrum for new mobile digital services, including radio, telephones, cell phones and satellite radio.[11]

Sikes succeeded Dennis R. Patrick as FCC head, and although his term as a commissioner was scheduled to end on June 30, 1993, Sikes announced his resignation on January 19, 1993. He stepped down to let Democrat Bill Clinton, who had just been elected U.S. President at the time, choose his own FCC head.[12] After Sikes left, James Henry Quello succeeded him as interim chairperson.[13][14] Sikes was hired by the Hearst Corporation in March 1993 to lead the company's New Media & Technology Group,[15] defying earlier speculation about a possible attempt at running for Congress or joining a Washington law firm.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Al Sikes was born to Marcia Weber Sikes, who died in 2006, and William Kendall Sikes, who died in 1994. He is married to Martha Sikes and has three daughters,[1] Deborah, Christine, and Marcia.[4][17] He was described in The New York Times as "mild-mannered."[10] Sikes' family owned a sporting goods store in Sikeston, Missouri, a city founded by his great-great-great-uncle.[16] In October 1992, Sikes was treated for prostate cancer,[18] an event that radio personality Howard Stern mocked after the FCC fined radio station KLSX for broadcasting Stern's program.[19][20] In 1999, Sikes co-founded READ Foundation, a New York City non profit that provides at-risk youth with one-to-one literacy tutoring.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Nomination of Alfred C. Sikes To Be a Member of the Federal Communications Commission, and Designation as Chairman". The American Presidency Project. Gerhard Peters – The American Presidency Project. June 28, 1989. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Alfred C. Sikes". NNDB. Soylent Communications. 2010. Archived from the original on 8 October 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Commissioners from 1934 to Present". Federal Communications Commission. February 22, 2010. Archived from the original on 11 November 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Lohr, Steve (May 29, 1994). "Sound Bytes; Visualizing the New Media". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  5. ^ Wolfer, Sondra (February 6, 2005). "Lesson in tutoring Teens help kids boost reading skills". New York Daily News (Daily News, L.P.). Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Al Sikes". The Trinity Forum, Inc. 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  7. ^ Associated Press (June 29, 1989). "Bush Names Head of F.C.C.". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Associated Press (June 29, 1989). "Bush Chooses Alfred Sikes to Head FCC". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Interactive, Inc.). Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b Zarkin, Kimberly; Zarkin, Michael J. (2006). The Federal Communications Commission: Front Line in the Culture and Regulation Wars. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-313-33416-0. 
  10. ^ a b Andrews, Edmund L. (December 8, 1992). "F.C.C. Chief Plans to Resign Before Clinton Inauguration". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  11. ^ Andrews, Edmund L. (June 2, 1991). "Pursuing Al Sikes's Grand Agenda". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Archived from the original on 11 November 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  12. ^ Shiver, Jube, Jr. (December 8, 1992). "FCC Chairman to Step Down Next Month". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Interactive, Inc.). Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  13. ^ Times Staff and Wire Reports (February 6, 1993). "Other News". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Interactive, Inc.). Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  14. ^ "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Interim F.C.C. Head". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). February 8, 1993. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  15. ^ Times Staff and Wire Services (March 16, 1993). "The Hearst Corp. has hired former Federal Communications ...". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Interactive, Inc.). Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  16. ^ a b Farhi, Paul (May 5, 1991). "Waves of the Future; FCC Chairman Alfred Sikes Has Visions of a Technological Revolution". The Washington Post (The Washington Post Company). Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Marcia Sikes". Sikeston Standard Democrat (Sikeston Standard Democrat). March 6, 2006. Retrieved March 21, 2011. 
  18. ^ Associated Press (October 30, 1992). "FCC Chairman Has Surgery". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Interactive, Inc.). Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  19. ^ Andrews, Edmund L. (November 27, 1992). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; F.C.C. Torn Over Howard Stern Case". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  20. ^ Farhi, Paul (November 25, 1992). "FCC's Stern Punishment; Radio Group to Be Fined, Purchases May Be Delayed". The Washington Post (The Washington Post Company). Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
Government offices
Preceded by
Dennis R. Patrick
Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
August 1989–January 1993
Succeeded by
James H. Quello