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01.26.2009
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Copps is acting FCC chairman

After two recent Republican resignations, the FCC has only three of its normal five members. Last week, President Obama named the senior Democratic commissioner, Michael Copps, as acting chairman.

Copps, who led opposition to media consolidation by the Republican-controlled FCC, has served as a commissioner since 2001. Prior to the FCC, he had been a college professor and chief of staff for former South Carolina Senator Ernest F. Hollings. Copps has been a longtime critic of Republican handling of the DTV transition and supports a delay of the analog turnoff.

Kevin Martin, FCC chairman during the Bush administration, resigned on Inauguration Day, leaving the commission with two Democrats and a single Republican.

Julius Genachowski, President Obama’s chief technology adviser during the campaign, is expected to be named the new FCC chairman. However, the appointment has yet to be announced. Once it is, the Senate must confirm Genachowski.

The makeup of the FCC is three members from the political party holding the White House and two from the other party.



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