Several FCC commissioners, including Chairman Powell, figure the private sector looks pretty good about now:
- In the Senate last week, seven Republicans joined 28 Democrats to schedule a rare “resolution of disapproval” to overturn new FCC rules that would let companies like News Corp. and Viacom expand their media holdings in local markets. Then in the House, defecting Republicans fueled a 40-to-25 committee vote to reverse part of the FCC’s action. Now it appears that the chief architect of those rules, FCC chairman Michael Powell, may not stick around for the fight. According to industry sources, the son of Secretary of State Colin Powell has told confidants he’d like to leave by fall, and three of his four top staff members are putting out job feelers. (Powell has denied he’s leaving soon.) His most likely replacement, sources say, is either Rebecca Klein, who is head of the Texas public-utility commission and was on the staff of Governor George W. Bush, or FCC commissioner Kevin Martin, who helped the Bush team count votes in Florida in 2000. [Time]
I believe it is the incredible hubris of the way the FCC handled this situation that has pissed people off almost as much as the industry-kissing content involved.