Powell to exit without resolving DTV deadline

March 13, 2005

FCC Chairman Michael Powell departs the FCC this week, and contrary to earlier predictions, he is leaving without any attempt to have the FCC set a hard deadline to end the DTV transition.

Bloomberg News reported that Powell has decided to leave that issue for Congress to address.

Last week, Powell, 41, attended his 90th — and last — open FCC meeting without addressing any major broadcast industry issues. President Bush has yet to name his successor, but there is a long list of possible candidates, including current FCC Commissioner Kevin Martin, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Pat Wood.

Other candidates for chairman include Michael Gallagher, an assistant secretary at the U.S. Commerce Department, and Rebecca Klein, who headed the Texas public utility commission.

As a final act as chairman, Powell said while wielding the gavel, all those in favor of me leaving signify by saying ‘Aye.’ In a lone voice, he responded “Aye.”

Powell is the son of former Secretary of State Colin Powell and was appointed as FCC commissioner in 1997 before being named chairman in 2001.

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