President Barack Obama finally said today (March 3) that he would nominate Julius Genachowski as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.
The announcement comes nearly two months after reports identified Genachowski, a former Harvard Law School classmate of Obama’s, as the president’s pick.
Genachowski will replace Democrat Michael Copps, who has served as acting FCC chairman since Republican Kevin Martin exited in January.
No stranger to the FCC, Genachowski served as former chief counsel for former FCC chairman Reed Hundt and a legal aide to former chairman Bill Kennard when Kennard served as general counsel to the commission.
Genachowski also served as Obama’s technology adviser during the November ’08 election.
Former FCC chairman Dick Wiley last month said he anticipates the FCC under Genachowski would be tough on media mergers and acquisitions.
“I’m hoping that the commission won’t embark on new regulatory [endeavors],” Wiley said in a conference call hosted by Credit Suisse in January. Instead, the FCC may want to put such efforts “on the sideline until economic conditions improve,” he said.
Wiley said the likely FCC chairman’s focus would be on broadband, technology innovation and Net neutrality, and also include “a desire to not have a lot more consolidation” in media.