Copps Named Acting FCC Chairman

Jan 22, 2009  •  Post A Comment

President Barack Obama has designated Democrat Michael Copps as acting chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.
The move likely puts Mr. Copps in place to direct the digital TV transition, at least for a while. President Obama is expected to name Julius Genachowski to head the FCC, but that appointment hasn’t yet been made and would require Senate confirmation.
Mr. Copps has been a critic of the DTV transition preparation and a key opponent of media consolidation.
In a statement today, Mr. Copps said he was honored and thanked the president.
“I thank President Obama for his confidence in me and for this opportunity to serve. I know that I have a truly gifted and terrific team to work with. I pledge every effort I am capable of to help steer the commission through its current transition to new leadership,” he said.
The appointment was praised by Republican commissioner Robert McDowell.
“I am pleased that President Obama has announced that my friend and colleague, Mike Copps, will serve as acting chairman of the commission,” he said.
Democratic commissioner Jonathan Adelstein also praised the choice, saying Mr. Copps would provide the urgently needed guidance to put the DTV transition back on track.
“The FCC will benefit from his leadership, experience and abiding commitment to the public interest,” said Mr. Adelstein. “He understands that public service is a sacred trust with the American people, and he has repeatedly demonstrated his sterling character, willingness to build consensus and deep commitment to serve all Americans. During our six years on the commission, he has consistently worked to ensure that consumers reap the benefits of a responsive and diverse media, robust and ubiquitous broadband Internet access and reliable public safety communications.”
Mr. Copps was a longtime aide to former U.S. Sen. Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, D-S.C., spending 12 years as his chief of staff. He also was an assistant secretary of commerce for trade development.
He joined the FCC in May 2001 and is serving his second term at the agency.
With Chairman Kevin Martin having resigned and Deborah Taylor Tate’s recess appointment by President Bush having expired, the normally five-member FCC currently has three members.


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