Transcriptional regulation is important in all eukaryotic organisms for cell growth, development, and responses to environmental change. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or bakers' yeast, has provided a powerful system for genetic analysis of transcriptional regulation, and findings from the study of this model system have proven broadly applicable to higher organisms. Transcriptional regulation requires the interactions of regulatory proteins with various components of the transcription machinery. Recently, genetic analysis of a diverse set of transcriptional regulatory responses has converged with studies of the function of the RNA polymerase II carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) to reveal regulatory roles for proteins associated with the CTD. These proteins, designated Srb/mediator proteins, are broadly involved in both positive and negative regulatory responses in vivo. This review focuses on the connections between genetic analysis of transcriptional regulation and the functions of the Srb/mediator proteins associated with the RNA polymerase II CTD.