At press time, which was a little before 10 p.m., the FCC was in something of a wait-and-see mode.
A commission source had not seen FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s resignation letter, but assumed Martin has resigned per his announcement last week. He is joining the Aspen Institute in Washington. A spokesperson there was not available to talk about the timing of his arrival, though a staffer said she had not seen him yet.
The word out of Aspen last week was that he would be joining immediately. (My guess is that when Hollywood types leave a job and say they are heading for Aspen, they are talking snow rather than policy papers.)
No word yet on an acting chairman designee of at the FCC, either, which comes from the president and is expected to be Commission Democrat Michael Copps. No official word yet on the designation of Julius Genachowski as President Barack Obama’s pick for FCC chairman.
Some DC watchers were suggesting Genachowski’s hold-up might be so his nomination could be packaged with a replacement for Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate. Look for a woman or minority or both in that post.
And if Democratic Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein exits for a post in the administration, another name being floated is Mignon Clyburn, a South Carolina Public Utility commissioner and daughter of Democratic Congressman James Clyburn.
In addition, the new administration, per custom, has reportedly sent out a directive to all agencies to hold off on any new rule or regulation changes until they can be reviewed, though it is not clear whether that applies to an independent agency like the FCC.
Currently, there are three commissioners, two Democrats–Copps and Jonathan Adelstein, and Republican Robert McDowell.