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Abernathy to leave FCC

FCC member Kathleen Abernathy has informed President Bush that she will vacate her seat December 9. Her decision came after the president failed to nominate her replacement with a pair of FCC appointments in early November.

Abernathy’s term expired nearly a year and a half ago. She had previously indicated that she did not want to be renominated. By statute, she would have been required to leave the commission after Congress adjourns for the year.

The White House has yet to name Abernathy’s successor at the five-member agency.

In early November, the White House nominated Deborah Tate, a Tennessee state regulator, to fill the Republican vacancy left by former chairman Michael Powell. Tate, however, is not yet an FCC member since her nomination must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Also nominated in November was Michael J. Copps, a Democrat, to another five-year term at the agency. Copps was first nominated by the Bush administration in May 2001.

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