—The Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee has
slated a nomination hearing for Tom Wheeler, a former telecom and cable
industry group executive, for June 18. The broadband rollout and broadcast indecency
are likely to be big discussion topics.
The former National Cable & Telecommunications Association chief
ran NCTA from 1979 to 1984. Wheeler later became head of the Cellular
Telecommunications & Internet Association from 1992 to 2003.
Wheeler was named managing director of Washington-based investment
firm Core Capital in 2005. He also chairs the FCC’s Technology Advisory
Council. Like former Chairman Julius Genachowski, Wheeler, too was an
Obama campaigner and fundraiser, so the hearing will likely touch on
He’s already pledged to divest his telecom holdings, such as shares
of AT&T Inc., Dish Network Corp., Google Inc. as well as shares of
other tech companies like Microsoft, Apple and Harris Corp. — and media
companies like Liberty Media Corp. and News Corp. — if he’s confirmed.
The FCC’s efforts to slightly relax its broadcast indecency rules
likely will be discussed. The committee and then the full Senate would need to approve the choice of Wheeler.
The president has not yet named a nominee for the open GOP seat on the commission. ~ from Radio World