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Senate Confirms Clyburn and Baker for FCC

WASHINGTON: The Senate has approved Mignon Clyburn and Meredith Attwell Baker for the Federal Communications Commission, giving the agency a full house for the first time since January, when former Chairman Kevin Martin stepped down. The approval was expected and came quickly after both nominees got the OK from the Senate Commerce Committee.

Clyburn, a former newspaper publisher and utility commissioner, becomes the third Democrat, after Michael Copps and Chairman Julius Genachowski. Atwell Baker joins Robert McDowell in holding up the GOP minority.

Simultaneously, Jonathan Adelstein was confirmed as head of the Ag Department's Rural Utilities Service division. He was nominated for the slot months ago but remained on the commission while the nominee confirmations were pending.
-- Deborah D. McAdams

Previous TVB coverage of the FCC nominees:
July 22, 2009: "Senate Commerce Committee Approves FCC Nominees"

Both nominees were drilled by members of the Commerce Committee last week regarding their philosophy of the Fairness Doctrine, a relic of past broadcast regulations requiring equal time for opposing views. The Fairness Doctrine was abandoned in the mid-1980s and media forms began to proliferate, but there have been discussion over the last year about resurrecting it.