New Name in the Game

Former NCTA president Tom Wheeler may be in line as a potential successor to FCC chairman Genachowski

According to sources, the stock of former National Cable & Telecommunications Association president Tom Wheeler is on the rise in the name game for potential successors to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski. That would be a case of the door swinging both ways, since ex-FCC chief Michael Powell is now NCTA president.

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.

Trending just below him is 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, both of whom have proximity to the president when staffers start writing the memo recommending a successor to Genachowski, who won’t say when, or if, he is leaving.

Former FCC broadband czar Blair Levin’s name is still in the hat, but taking on broadcasters in the national broadband plan could make his odds long.