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.