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Genachowski Tapped to Lead FCC

Julius Genachowski As expected, President Obama this week nominated his campaign technology advisor Julius Genachowski to succeed Kevin Martin as Chairman of the FCC.

Genachowski, a former Harvard Law classmate and former FCC attorney, was also Obama's classmate at Harvard Law. He reportedly raised more than $500,000 in political donations to the Obama campaign and has been widely praised for his business knowledge, technical vision and apparent commitment to network neutrality, media diversity and broadband buildout. His views towards the broadcast business are less clear, but it is believed that he is expected to spend less time than his predecessor over indecency issues.

"He will bring to the job diverse and unparalleled experience in communications and technology, with two decades of accomplishment in the private sector and public service," Obama said.

Barring any last minute major glitches—such as outstanding tax bills—Genachowski is expected to have any easy approval process in Congress. If approved, he would join Democratic commissioner Michael J. Copps—the current acting FCC Chairman, and fellow Democrat Jonathan Adelstein and Republican Robert McDowell on the commission. Copps and Adelstein's terms end in December 2009; McDowell's ends June 2010. A fifth Republican commissioner has not been nominated to replace Deborah Taylor Tate, who stepped down in December.

Copps praised the nominee, characterizing Genachowski, as having "the knowledge, experience and dedication to lead this Agency forward as we tackle the many challenges confronting the country—and the Commission."