Powell may leave FCC this winter

July 2, 2004

The Los Angeles Times has reported that lobbyists for media and telecommunications companies are rushing to get their “pet issues” on the FCC’s agenda, responding to a prediction that FCC Chairman Michael Powell may step down this winter.

The Times said that two additional commissioners — Republicans Kevin Martin and Kathleen Abernathy — also are considering leaving.

Powell, whose chairmanship has been the most controversial in recent memory, has said that he has no plans to leave his post. However, he recently prepared a six-month strategy for resolving the controversial media ownership, indecency and telephone competition issues that remain on the immediate FCC agenda.

Tom Tauke, the top lobbyist for Verizon Communications, told the Times that the company was pressing to have telephone competition rules rewritten this year, fearing that a new line-up of FCC commissioners might take a tougher stance against the companies that own most of the country’s local telephone lines.

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