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Martin Mum on Plans

Commission meets via teleconference, mostly to say goodbye to Tate

FCC Chairman Martin hopes to have one television item ready to vote on at the Jan. 15 open meeting in Washington, expected to be his last as chairman.

The rest of the January meeting agenda is unclear.

Martin’s term as a commissioner is not up until 2011, and he could elect to stay on as a commissioner. He declined to answer reporters’ questions this week about his plans, only saying he had no announcements to make about his future at the FCC.

Asked whether he intends to circulate more items for a vote before the scheduled Jan. 15 meeting, Martin said yes but that he couldn’t talk about those yet.

The December open meeting first was cancelled after Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who are set to take over their respective Commerce Committees in January, sent a letter to Martin telling him that the FCC should pay closer attention to the digital transition as questions remain about the readiness of Americans for the switch.

Fulfilling a requirement for a monthly meeting, the commissioners held one via telephone Tuesday; the substance was devoted to commissioners saying their goodbyes to Commissioner Deborah Tate.