Report: Genachowski to Announce His Exit
Would pave way for paired Democrat, Republican nominees
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/21/2013 8:22:41 PMFriday would announce that he was leaving the commission, perhaps the worst-kept secret in Washington.
For months, the question has not been whether but when the chairman would leave, at least according to Washington lobbyists and attorneys. As recently as the press conference after the FCC's monthly meeting March 18, Genachowski said there was nothing to report, deflecting the question he has been getting for months.
A spokesman for the chairman declined comment on the report, which did not say when the chairman planned to leave. He has agreed to address the National Association of Broadcasters convention next month.
The announcement would come only days after Commissioner Robert McDowell announced he would be leaving in the next several weeks. The exit of both would allow the Administration to pair Republican and Democratic nominees.
Among the leading names for Genachowski's big chair is former National Cable & Telecommunications Association President Tom Wheeler. Wheeler, managing director of Core Capital Partners, was a fund-raiser for President Obama and tech policy advisor for the transition team and beyond. He is a former wireless exec and head of CTIA, and a renaissance man who wrote a book on leadership lessons from the Civil War.
Also said to be in the hunt are Jason Furman, the "whip-smart economist" (as one Democrat puts it) who is assistant to the president for economic policy. Furman is said to be about on par with longtime Obama adviser Karen Kornbluh.
Free Press, which celebrated Genachowski's arrival, also applauded his potential exit. "Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:
"When Julius Genachowski took office, there were high hopes that he would use his powerful position to promote the public interest," said Free Press President Craig Aaron. "But instead of acting as the people's champion, he's catered to corporate interests. His tenure has been marked by wavering and caving rather than the strong leadership so needed at this crucial agency."
In a talk at the Free State Foundation, former FCC Broadband Plan architect Blair Levin, invoked Lincoln in advising creative thinking about making the transition to an all digital world. Wheeler is said to be a Lincoln scholar, and the comment could be read as advice to the possible chairman. "[T]he economic foundations of the social contract necessary to drive the deployment of the voice and video networks are eroding and will not suffice to drive continual improvements in our broadband networks. In that light, as Lincoln said, 'the dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present...as our case is new, we must think anew and act anew.'"
No related content found.
Most Popular Pages
No Top Articles