After nearly one week in charge of the Federal Communications Commission, new chairman Kevin Martin has returned the agency to business as usual -- for the most part.
Upon taking the chairman's seat Friday, March 18, Martin issued an e-mail to FCC senior staff, ordering them not to release major staff-level decisions or public notices until Martin's office gets a chance to review them. However, most proceedings have now been cleared to go forward.
Staff was also asked not to give speeches on behalf of the commission, or to make other public statements purportedly reflecting the commission's views "until further notice."
The move prompted cancellation of a Washington speech or two last week by agency personnel, but won't hamper travel plans for next week's National Cable & Telecommunications Association Convention—or the National Association of Broadcasters convention two weeks later. Staff is still on notice, however, not to opine on how the FCC will proceed on major policy questions until they've vetted their ideas with Martin's office. Martin ordered the temporary halt in FCC releases and public speaking in order to get a handle on what proceedings are in the pipeline, and to make sure staff is familiar with his thoughts on key issues.