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Genachowski’s Senate Hearing Set

WASHINGTON: The Senate Commerce Committee has slated a nominations hearing next Tuesday, May 12, for the presumptive new chairman of the FCC. Julius Genachowski was nominated by the president in early March after weeks of speculation to that effect. His confirmation by the Senate has been on hold because Republican lawmakers want to pair his appointment with a Republican commissioner, The Wall Street Journalreports.

No Republican nominees have emerged for the single GOP seat left on the commission. Robert McDowell currently is the sole Republican commissioner. Democrat Michael Copps is serving as interim chairman, and his party colleague Jonathan Adelstein, will leave to head the Ag Department’s Rural Utilities division once Genachowski clears the Senate. The president last week nominated Mignon Clyburn, daughter of House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., to take Adelstein’s seat.

Genachowski, 46, was Obama’s Harvard classmate and served on the president’s transition team. Genachowski was also an aide to former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt in the 1990s, before he moved on to work for Barry Diller’s online enterprise, and later founded a Washington, D.C. venture cap firm. -- Deborah D. McAdams