President Obama Nominates Tom Wheeler As Next FCC Chairman

By Alex Weprin Comment

Attention media executives: there is a new government official to suck up to. President Obama formally announced the nomination of Tom Wheeler to be the next chairman of the FCC.

Assuming he is approved by the Senate, Wheeler will replace outgoing FCC chair Julius Genachowski. FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn has stepped in as the interim chair.

Wheeler, a venture capitalist, is a loyal Obama supporter, and a pioneer businessman in both the cable television industry and the wireless industry. While the FCC’s primary oversight is of the public airwaves, including broadcast TV and radio stations, it also has oversight of the cable, satellite and telecommunications businesses.

The FCC has the ability to dramatically affect the way TV networks conduct business, as seen in the “indecency” court cases of the last decade, as well as the FCC agreements struck after the Comcast acquisition of NBCUniversal, which led to a complaint (and subsequent resolution) from Bloomberg TV.

The NY Times has more on Wheeler.