More Reaction to FCC Nominees

More reaction has come in on President Obama’s selection of former telecom and cable industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler for the next FCC chairman and Commissioner Mignon Clyburn as interim chair.

Fellow commissioners congratulated Clyburn, who, even on an interim basis, will become the first woman to head the agency when current Chairman Julius Genachowski leaves mid-month. Fellow Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel, who also was reportedly in the mix to be named interim chair or chair, said Clyburn is a principled and dedicated public servant. Outgoing Commissioner Robert McDowell, a Republican, noted that “While we do not always agree on policy, I have consistently found Mignon to be thoughtful, highly perceptive, energetic and respectful of opposing viewpoints.”

We reported yesterday that NAB praised both choices.

CEA President/CEO Gary Shapiro said Wheeler is “experienced, qualified and certain to make a difference as FCC chairman.”

Shapiro too, praised Clyburn, saying she has a deep understanding of the impact that policy has on technology and innovation. “She is the ideal public servant, balancing the twin goals of empowering consumers and ensuring technological leadership.”

Hill leaders weighed in as well. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) congratulated Wheeler, but are concerned that his views on merger conditions “can be misused to affect whole industries, not just those seeking merger approval.”

Additionally, they hope the next FCC chairman will work to make the agency more transparent and efficient.

Public interest groups are split on the nomination, we reported.

The Women’s Media Center was disappointed Obama didn’t appoint a woman as chair of the agency.       

The president must still nominate a Republican to replace outgoing Commissioner Robert McDowell.


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