Alfred C. Sikes
Alfred C. Sikes
|Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission|
August 8, 1989 – January 19, 1993
|President||George H.W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Dennis R. Patrick|
|Succeeded by||James H. Quello|
|Born||December 16, 1939|
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
|Children||Deborah, Christine, Marcia|
|Alma mater||Westminster College (B.A.)|
University of Missouri School of Law (L.L.B.)
Alfred C. Sikes (born December 16, 1939) is a Republican, former U.S. administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, who served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from August 8, 1989, to January 19, 1993. 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. In 2000, Sikes founded the non-profit Reading Excellence and Discovery Foundation and served as chairman of the Trinity Forum's board of trustees.
Sikes worked at Allen, Woolsey and Fisher, a law firm, from 1964 to 1968, and was assistant Missouri Attorney General from 1969 to 1972. He directed Missouri's Department of Community Affairs from 1973 to 1974, and the state's Department of Consumer Affairs, Regulation, and Licensing from 1974 to 1976. From 1977 to 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. 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.
Chairman of the FCC
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 and be more likely to pass the Senate confirmation. During his tenure as FCC chairman, Sikes supported deregulation and established the framework for digital high-definition television. Sikes also carved 100 mHz out of the radio spectrum for new mobile digital services, including radio, telephones, cell phones and satellite radio.
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. After Sikes left, James Henry Quello succeeded him as interim chairperson. Sikes was hired by the Hearst Corporation in March 1993 to lead the company's New Media & Technology Group, defying earlier speculation about a possible attempt at running for Congress or joining a Washington law firm.
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, Deborah, Christine, and Marcia. He was described in The New York Times as "mild-mannered." Sikes' family owned a sporting goods store in Sikeston, Missouri, a city founded by his great-great-great-uncle. In October 1992, Sikes was treated for prostate cancer, an event that radio personality Howard Stern mocked after the FCC fined radio station KLSX for broadcasting Stern's program. In 1999, Sikes co-founded READ Foundation, a New York City non profit that provides at-risk youth with one-to-one literacy tutoring. Al Sikes has written the book Culture Leads Leaders Follow published by Koehler Books. He and his wife live in Easton, Maryland, where he has served on several boards, with a friend started Take The Helm and is the founder of The Monty Alexander Jazz Festival.
- "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.
- "Commissioners from 1934 to Present". Federal Communications Commission. February 22, 2010. Archived from the original on 11 November 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- Lohr, Steve (May 29, 1994). "Sound Bytes; Visualizing the New Media". The New York Times. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- 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.[permanent dead link]
- "Al Sikes". The Trinity Forum, Inc. 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-11-19. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
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- "Bush Chooses Alfred Sikes to Head FCC". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. June 29, 1989. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- 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.
- Andrews, Edmund L. (December 8, 1992). "F.C.C. Chief Plans to Resign Before Clinton Inauguration". The New York Times. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- Andrews, Edmund L. (June 2, 1991). "Pursuing Al Sikes's Grand Agenda". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 11 November 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- Shiver, Jube Jr. (December 8, 1992). "FCC Chairman to Step Down Next Month". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- Times Staff and Wire Reports (February 6, 1993). "Other News". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Interim F.C.C. Head". The New York Times. February 8, 1993. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- Times Staff and Wire Services (March 16, 1993). "The Hearst Corp. has hired former Federal Communications ..." Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- Farhi, Paul (May 5, 1991). "Waves of the Future; FCC Chairman Alfred Sikes Has Visions of a Technological Revolution". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- "Marcia Sikes". Sikeston Standard Democrat. Sikeston Standard Democrat. March 6, 2006. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
- "FCC Chairman Has Surgery". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. October 30, 1992. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- Andrews, Edmund L. (November 27, 1992). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; F.C.C. Torn Over Howard Stern Case". The New York Times. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- Farhi, Paul (November 25, 1992). "FCC's Stern Punishment; Radio Group to Be Fined, Purchases May Be Delayed". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
Dennis R. Patrick
| Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
August 1989 – January 1993
James H. Quello