Depending on the Bush administration’s plans, FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Kathleen Abernathy could leave the FCC around the same time this year, reports Billboard Radio Monitor. That would give the White House three new seats to fill at the commission this year — and a chance to use a Democratic seat as a bargaining chip with Congress to help get a Republican nominee through the confirmation process.
Copps’ term ends officially in the middle of this year, while Abernathy’s term ended in June 2004. Abernathy’s office told Billboard Radio Monitor that there has been no message sent to the White House announcing her imminent departure.
Abernathy can remain as a commissioner until late fall this year. Aside from Chairman Michael Powell’s seat opening up with his announced March departure, Commissioner Kevin Martin’s term doesn’t end until 2006. Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein’s term expires mid-2008.