FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has yet to announce his exit date, but the inside-the-Beltway chatter about his successor is coalescing around a scenario where former National Cable and Telecommunications Association president Tom Wheeler is nominated to replace Genachowski and, since the vetting and voting for that pick will likely take a few months, Mignon Clyburn would be named interim chair. Clyburn is the senior Dem after Genachowski, and would be the first woman to chair the commission.Several sources said scenario was the sense they were getting from the policy tea leaf readers in town, and one said they were pretty confident it would be Wheeler, and that the White House would be moving soon.
That handicapping came from lobbyists and political observers on both sides of the aisle, but until the president makes the call, nothing is set in stone.
The president has been under pressure to name a woman, and there are a number of qualified candidates, including Clyburn, Rosenworcel, and longtime Obama adviser Karen Kornbluh.
Wheeler, managing director of Core Capital Partners, was a fundraiser for President Obama and tech policy advisor for the transition team and beyond.
He is a former wireless exec and head of CTIA, and a renaissance man who wrote a book on leadership lessons from the Civil War.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.