Genachowski Senate Hearing Unset

WASHINGTON: The Senate grilling of the president's nominee to head the FCC has been delayed just one day after being scheduled. A hearing to confirm Julius Genachowski as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission had been scheduled for next Tuesday in the Senate, but John Rockefeller, D-W.V. pulled the agenda item, The Wall Street Journal reported. It was scheduled on Wednesday and unscheduled Thursday. A spokeswoman for the committee said it would be postponed until after the Memorial Day recess, potentially handing Genachowski the reins of the FCC just days ahead of the moment when the nation's remaining 800 or so TV stations will end analog broadcasting.

WSJ said the hearing was put on hold because Republicans have yet to find a replacement for Deborah Taylor-Tate, who left the FCC around the time Kevin Martin resigned his chairmanship Jan. 20. Their exits left one Republican, Robert McDowell, on the commission with Democrats Michael Copps, who became interim chairman, and Jonathan Adelstein, who will leave his post to head up the Ag Department's Rural Utilities division should Genachowski ever get confirmed.

Mignon Clyburn, nominated by the president last week to be the third Democrat on the commission, will also have to clear the Senate. Clyburn is the daughter of House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C.

Genachowski, 46, worked on the commission for former chairman Reed Hundt in the 1990s. He would later work for Barry Diller's online empire before founding his own venture capital firm in Washington, D.C. Genachowski went to Harvard with the president. -- Deborah D. McAdams