BC DC

DC Buzz: Genachowski's the One

1/12/2009 11:23:11 AM

Julius Genachowski appears to be getting closer to claiming the FCC chairmanship, a prominent post in an administration committed to broadband rollout as part of the salvation of the economy.

There was buzz in Washington Monday that Genachowski, a former advisor to FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, an e-media executive, a venture capitalist and classmate of Barack Obama, could be nominated to the post as soon as tomorrow. A spokesperson for the Obama transition team had no comment on the status of the FCC appointment.

I heard the Genchowski buzz from several sources who, in turn, had heard it in numerous places. But the collective weight was not enough to push it from blog to breaking news. Think of it as, collectively, a 1.3-source item.

Genachowski would be a natural choice since he helped draft the Obama campaign’s tech policy plan, which some at the time boiled down to “open government, open networks, open markets,” very likely in that order. Then, only days after the election in November, Genachowski was tapped to help develop tech policy for the new administration, though, given the economic crisis, open markets may have moved up on that list.

Genachowski’s name has since risen to the top of most lists of possible candidates.

Genachowski had thought also to be the logical pick for a new tech czar post Barack Obama is creating, so long as its powers were well-defined–and it actually had powers. That job description has remained sufficiently nebulous that the top FCC post would appear to be the more attractive to someone looking to affect communications policy directly.

Genachowski has plenty of new media experience to go with FCC and business chops. He was a top executive with IAC/InterActiveCorp, Barry Diller’s interactive media play, and according to Web.com, where Genachowski is a board member, his other directorships have included Expedia.com, Hotels.com, and Ticketmaster.

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