It was three and a half hours and counting, as the FCC continued to delayed the start of the meeting in which it was expected to approve the Adelphia breakup between Comcast and Time Warner.
The meeting was initially scheduled to start at 9:30, but by 10:15, FCC sources were saying the commissioners were still in a meeting and that it could start as late as 11 or 11:30. The FCC confirmed the latter start time in an e-mail. No word on what the hold-up was, but at 11:45, there was still no sign of the commissioners in the meeting room.
By noon, the commissioners had appeared, mingling and talking but not taking their seats, then departing for places unknown, with no sign of the meeting's start at 12:55. Democratic commissioners , expected to vote against the deal, continued to meet with their staffs at press time.
With a Republican majority in place, FCC Chairmen Kevin Martin was thought to have the three votes to approve the Adelphia deal, with some conditions.
At about 12:45, the three Rebublicans were in the room, but the two Democrats not, possibly finalizing positions or drafting statements.
Word from a top reporter in the meeting room, though it could have been apocryphal, was that Martin had sent out for pizza for the scribes.Already pulled from the agenda early Thursday was an item considering the effect of digital audio broadcasting on terrestrial radio.