As expected, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin wasted no time installing the third Republican and fifth commissioner on the FCC.
Robert McDowell was sworn in Thursday, saying: "I am honored and humbled to be joining such a distinguished group of commissioners as well as the fine career public servants at the FCC."
"There are many challenging issues facing the Commission, and I am eager to begin working on them with my fellow commissioners, with Congress, and with the American people. I am confident that our efforts will help bring the most advanced and efficient communications systems in the world to all American consumers.”
As late as last Thursday, according to sources, Martin was predicting he might not have that fifth seat filled before the November elections, but a hold on the nomination was lifted and the Senate confirmed McDowell May 26.
McDowell is former VP and assistant general consel for telecom association COMPTEL, which could mean he would have to recuse himself from some of those challenging issues if he advocated a position on them while in that post.
McDowell will hit the ground running, with Martin currently calling for a vote on granting multicast must-carry to TV stations. He has also let the other commissioners know he plans to launch an omnibus review of media ownership rules at the June 15 open meeting.