FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to join Aspen Institute

According to The Associated Press, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is leaving the agency Tuesday, Jan. 20, to work for the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan think tank.

Martin, a Republican, will be joining the institute as a senior fellow with its Communications and Society Program. His three predecessors — Democrats Reed Hundt and William Kennard and Republican Michael Powell — all took the Aspen Institute fellowship after stepping down as FCC chairman.

Martin said in an interview with The Associated Press that he expects to spend several months at the Washington office of the think tank, working on communications issues and reflecting on what to do next.

"I think it's time for me to move on to new opportunities and new challenges," he said.

Martin, a North Carolina native, joined the FCC as a commissioner in July 2001 and was named chairman of the agency by President Bush in March 2005, succeeding Powell.

During his time at the FCC, Martin, 42, pushed for deregulation in the telecommunications industry and more competition in the cable market. He also fought to crack down on broadcast indecency following Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.

Before joining the FCC, Martin was a special assistant to President Bush for economic policy. He also served on the Bush-Cheney transition team and was deputy general counsel for the Bush campaign. Before that, Martin worked as an adviser to FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth.

President-elect Barack Obama is expected to nominate Julius Genachowski, a key technology adviser, to be the next FCC chairman.