For the first time ever, the Federal Communications Commission is being headed by a woman. Deadline.com reports that the agency on Saturday named Commissioner Mignon Clyburn as Acting Chair, taking over the position vacated by Julius Genachowski.
The appointment is designed to fill the post until President Obama’s choice for the permanent job, Tom Wheeler, can be confirmed by the Senate.
Clyburn talked about the appointment today, telling staffers: “I see myself as a member of a relay team, running one of the middle legs. My job is to build on forward momentum, give the next teammate a running start, an improved position, and no matter what, my goal is not to drop the baton.”
Deadline adds: “It could take months before she can pass that baton to Wheeler. The Senate likely will confirm him in tandem with a Republican to replace former Commissioner Robert McDowell, who left the FCC on Friday. Presidents typically appoint someone recommended by the opposition leadership when there’s an FCC opening for the out party. But the Senate GOP has yet to make its pick.”
Among those being considered, according to the piece, are Duke University’s Michelle Connolly, a former FCC chief economist; former Scripps Networks Chief Legal Officer A.B. Cruz; and Hill staff veterans Ray Baum and Neil Fried.
The report notes: “Last week the U.S. Office of Government Ethics disclosed that Wheeler — a former lobbyist who’s now an investor with Core Capital Partners — said that if confirmed he would divest holdings in 78 companies including AMC Networks, Apple, Cablevision, CBS, Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network, Gannett, Google, Liberty Media, News Corp., Scripps Networks, Time Warner, Time Warner Cable and Disney.”