James Quello on ‘Common Sense’ in 1988


“I find great wisdom and guidance in a quote expressing Franklin Roosevelt’s view of the role which administrative agencies should play in government. The great President said: ‘A common sense resort to usual and practical sources of information takes the place of archaic and technical application of rules of evidence, and an informed and expert tribunal renders its decisions with an eye that looks forward to results rather than backward to precedent and to the leading case. Substantial justice remains a higher aim for our civilization than technical legalism.’ By taking this action today, we elevate substantial justice over technical legalism and best serve the overall public interest.”

The Honorable James H. Quello
July 20, 1988

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James Quello on Broadcast Station Managers, Engineers and Sales


“You may have heard that an engineer is a person who knows a great deal about very little, and who goes along learning more and more about less and less until finally he knows practically everything about nothing. A salesman, on the other hand, is a person who knows very little about many things and keeps learning less and less about more an more, until he knows practically nothing about everything. Of course, a station manager starts out knowing everything about everything, but ends up knowing nothing about anything, because of his association with engineers and salemen.”

– James H. Quello, 11 October 1974

James H. Quello

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Digital Archive of James Quello’s Papers


The Quello Center is off and running in creating a digital archive of James H. Quello’s papers. Our archive team includes myself, having never created such an archive, plus Anne Marie Salter at the Center, Valeta Winsloff from Media and Information who supports our design work and blogging, Scout Calvert with the MSU Library, who is orchestrating this project, and Lauren E. Lincoln-Chavez, who has hands on experience in developing archives and special collections, and is based in Detroit.

The collection contains over 1,000 papers, including speeches, statements, letters, and remarks by James Quello during his long tenure as an FCC Commissioner. To this we will be adding our collection of photographs, and videos, as well as photos of his many awards and honors. This promises to be another of the many fun and rewarding projects of the Center.

The archive will be part of our WordPress blog and publicly accessible to anyone who might want a view of over two decades at the FCC through the words of one of its longest serving and most colorful commissioners. I read one of his papers from 1974 saying the he is willing to forgive journalists for getting things wrong at times (before there was a term ‘fake news’) in order to protect freedom of the press, and I imagine he would say the same thing about the users of social media today.

Generally, sifting through this collection is addictive as you follow the history of such issues as the fairness doctrine, cross-ownership rules, and more. I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

LtoR: Aleks, Bill, Valeta, Anne Marie, Lauren, Scout

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Advisory Board Member John D. Evans Named to Cable Hall of Fame


The Quello Center congratulates our Advisory Board Member, John D. Evans, Chairman and CEO, Evans Telecommunications Co., on being honored by inclusion in the Cable Center’s Hall of Fame Class of 2016. The Cable Hall of Fame ‘recognizes those ground-breaking leaders who have shaped and advanced our industry. Induction into the Cable Hall of Fame is one of the industry’s highest and most exclusive honors.’

John D. Evans

John D. Evans

John was happy for me to share this news with the Advisory Board and friends and colleagues of the Quello Center, noting that ‘… Jim Quello for over 40 years (from when I was a sophomore at the University of Michigan) was my friend, my mentor and my guide. He often gave me the courage and advice to do the right thing. His integrity was his honesty, driven by courage, and tempered by truth.’

On the very day we received this news about John being honored, the College of Communication Arts and Sciences (ComArtsSci) at Michigan State University (MSU) happened to have a full meeting of its faculty and staff, which focused on discussion of the importance of a student’s experience while attending university. John’s story is a great example of the central importance of a student’s experience in higher education. He was a graduate of the University of Michigan – the ‘other university’, illustrating the reach of Jim Quello’s influence on so many of our Michigan institutions. MSU, U-M and all other centers of learning and education need to keep this in mind. Its wonderful when a student’s experience shapes a person’s future in such a clear and demonstrable fashion as in John’s case. In reflecting on James Quello’s influence on his career, John told me that ‘Jim Quello played such an important part in my life … I would not be where I am today had he not believed, nurtured and mentored me.’

The Quello Center is honored to have John Evans and other major figures from industry, government and academia on its Advisory Board. And we are delighted that the Quello Center continues to be a legacy of James and Mary Quello at MSU and hold out the potential for Jim Quello to continue shaping the experiences of students and faculty through the center named in his honor by his friends and colleagues.

John Evans & James Quello

John Evans & James Quello

The full Class of 2016 honors went to:

Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, MSNBC’s Morning Joe
Pat Esser, President, Cox Communications, Inc.
John D. Evans, Chairman and CEO, Evans Telecommunications Co.
Tom Rogers, President and CEO, TiVo Inc.
Robert J. Stanzione, Chairman and CEO, ARRIS
John O. “Dubby” Wynne, Retired President and CEO, Landmark


Quello Center Advisory Board: http://quello.msu.edu/people/advisory-board/

The Cable Center’s Hall of Fame http://cablecenter.org/cable-hall-of-fame.html

Mulichannel News: http://www.multichannel.com/news/cable-tv-conventions/cable-hall-fame-selects-class-2016/394434

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Steve Wildman’s Odyssey


June 25th, 2015

Steve Wildman is about to depart from the Quello Center, the Department of Media and Information, Michigan State University and Michigan to retire in the mountains of Colorado. We expect Steve to continue as an emeritus member of our Advisory Board, and teach from a distance for the department. And while we have already had a celebration of his work at MSU, we should say more about his contributions to the Quello Center as his Odyssey continues.

First, thanks are once again due for the role Steve has played as founding director of the Quello Center. He started the center from scratch in 1999 to become a key node in a network of telecommunication policy research centers across the US and worldwide. And he contributed to its stature through his own research and publications, which led to his appointment as Chief Economist at the Federal Communications Commission in December 2012. As an economist, he has demonstrated the contributions that the social sciences can make to the interdisciplinary study of the communication revolution that has been underway during his tenure. It remains a key aim of the Quello Center to demonstrate the centrality of economics and the social sciences as a whole to understanding the factors shaping digital media and information technologies like the Internet and their societal, policy and regulatory implications.

Secondly, Steve was fond of collecting quotations of the colorful and influential long serving member of the FCC, James H. Quello, for whom the center was named. One of Steve’s favorites was James Quello’s wonderful blessing: “May the Lord be with you — but not too soon!” Another, more appropriate for today, might be James Quello’s words on departing the FCC: “I’d like my FCC legacy to read, ‘He never forgot where he came from.’” Steve embodies a Midwestern aversion to trumpeting his many accomplishments, and seems to remember where he came from, but we’d like Steve’s Quello Center legacy to read something like ‘He never forgot the center he founded.’

Steve Wildman in Quello Meeting Room 2014

Steve Wildman in Quello Meeting Room 2014

More about Steve’s time at MSU is available online, such as:

Steve’s leaving lecture:

And a video tribute to Steve, compiled by Gary Reid:

Steve Wildman Tribute Video – Founding Director of the Quello Center from Quello Center on Vimeo.

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Creating a James H. Quello Digital Collection


The Quello Center has a unique collection of speeches, statements, audio and video recordings, and other documents from James H. Quello’s decades in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). We are developing a proposal to convert these documents and video recordings to an openly accessible digital collection, and invite colleagues and students who wish to gain experience in digital archiving to join us. We would welcome expressions of interest, tips on current technique, and recommendations of experts we should consult.


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