Dennis R. Patrick

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Dennis R. Patrick (born June 1, 1951 in Los Angeles, California) currently serves as President and Chief Executive of Pillar Productions, an independent film and television production company.

Between 2001 and 2013, Mr. Patrick served as President and then non executive Chairman of National Geographic Ventures, the for profit division responsible for overseeing National Geographic's film and television production as well as the National Geographic Channel. In 2005 National Geographic Feature Films released March of the Penguins, the second highest grossing documentary film of all time.

Between 1999 and 2001, Mr. Patrick served as the first President of AOL Wireless and led efforts to expand the ISP's presence to cell phones and other wireless devices.

Prior to his tenure with AOL, Mr. Patrick pursued venture capital opportunities. During this period, Mr. Patrick founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of Milliwave LP, a local exchange telephone company utilizing digital radio frequencies to transmit voice, video, and data in competition with the Regional Bell Operating Companies.

Before founding Milliwave, Mr. Patrick served as CEO of Time Warner Telecommunications, a division of Time Warner Entertainment. Serving in this capacity between 1990 and 1995, Mr. Patrick provided parent Time Warner with strategic advice and spearheaded the efforts to launch the cable industry's first integrated voice, video and data service bundle in Orlando, Florida.

Between 1983 and 1989, Mr. Patrick served as Commissioner and then Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). During this period the telecommunications, television, radio, and cable industries underwent significant structural and regulatory reform. Among the issues and reforms engaged were broadcast and cable deregulation, relaxation of rules governing television program ownership and syndication rights, the introduction of Direct Broadcast Satellite competition and broad telecommunications, deregulation. Under Patrick's chairmanship, the FCC voted to abolish the so-called "fairness doctrine" thereby establishing, for the first time, full First Amendment freedoms for the broadcast industry.

Between 1981 and 1983, Mr. Patrick served as Associate Director of Presidential Personnel at the White House under President Reagan. Between 1976 and 1981, Mr. Patrick practiced law in Los Angeles.

A native of California, Mr. Patrick received his A.B. degree magna cum laude from Occidental College in 1973, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his J.D. degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1976.


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Government offices
Preceded by
Mark S. Fowler
Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
April 1987–August 1989
Succeeded by
Alfred C. Sikes