Jon Blake headed the firm’s Communications and Media practice for many years and served on the firm’s Management Committee, including as Chair, at key points in the firm’s development. But Mr. Blake was perhaps most noted as an industry strategist, and this expertise and interest spread to other related fields such as the intellectual property, privacy, and various technology fields that emerged as the communications industry evolved.
Mr. Blake handled major litigations (most recently, he was involved in the Aereo case that was resolved by the Supreme Court) and important legislative projects, and he did deal work for our communications clients. He represented The Washington Post when several challenges were launched against its major market television licenses during the Watergate era. The firm also played a vital role in helping the broadcast industry transition to digital high definition television. For this work, he and the groups he helped conceive, organize and represent were awarded an Emmy in 2011. He represented pioneers in the mobile communications arena -- helping to define its technical and regulatory parameters and obtaining the necessary spectrum for its operations. He worked with others in the firm to counsel the NFL in its ever deepening involvement with regulatory and legislative issues in the area of communications and media policy and regulation.
Mr. Blake’s special strengths and interests were in bringing together and presenting the priorities of industry coalitions (formal and informal) before the FCC, Congress, the courts and in joint or common business ventures. He also was a key figure in the evolving network/affiliate relationship and the relationship between the broadcast and cable/satellite industries. In both environments, he championed the cause of localism. He also served the Federal Communications Bar Association in various capacities, including as President.
Mr. Blake also long represented the public broadcasting community, including the Public Broadcasting Service and the Carnegie Commission. His pro bono work included public and subsidized housing for the poor, environmental causes, work for indigent youth defendants in criminal cases, the Children’s Defense Fund, and an international organization devoted to strengthening families and protecting women through local media partnerships. Another institution to which he has devoted his energies was Oxford’s Programme for Comparative Media Law and Policy, which among other endeavors, conducts moot courts around the world, involving some 50 law schools. Because of his role, PCMLP created its “Spirit of Competition” award in his name to be given to that participant in the moot courts who contributes most to the events in a variety of ways.
At the firm, Mr. Blake was on the Management Committee when the firm opened offices in London and Brussels, then served as its chair from 1996 to 2001, when Covington opened its San Francisco office and successfully and happily merged with Howard, Smith & Levin in New York.
Probably Mr. Blake's greatest interest and source of satisfaction is in nurturing young lawyers in their professional development and emergence as practice and firm leaders.
Mr. Blake joined the firm in 1964 and retired in 2013.