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Republicans FCC Selections Emerge

WASHINGTON: Republicans in Congress are settling on their picks to sit on the Federal Communications Commission, reports indicated. Meredith Atwell Baker, former acting chief of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, the Commerce Department division handling the DTV converter coupon program, is said to be favored to fill the position left vacant by Deborah Taylor Tate. Robert McDowell, currently the sole Republican on the commission, likely will be renominated.

Should the nominations go forward; the way will be cleared for Julius Genachowski’s confirmation hearing. Genachowski received the president’s nod in March to head up the commission as Chairman, and a Senate confirmation hearing originally set for May 12 was postponed, purportedly because Republicans hadn’t come up with a replacement for Tate. Obama nominated Mignon Clyburn to fill the seat of outgoing Democratic FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein. McDowell, Adelstein and Michael Copps now comprise the commission leadership, with Copps filling in as acting chairman. -- Deborah D. McAdams