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Clyburn Chief of Staff Grossman Exiting

There are some big-time comings and goings in the office of FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.

Going are chief of staff David Grossman and wireline legal advisor Claude Aiken. Joining the office are Nese Guendelsberger as wireline legal advisor and Michael Scurato as media legal advisor. No word on who was replacing Grossman.

Clyburn called the exits of Grossman and Aiken "huge losses," praising both for their wise counsel and work ethic.

Guendelsberger is moving over from her post as senior deputy bureau chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, while Scurato has been a legal advisor to the chief of the Enforcement Bureau and is formerly with the National Hispanic Media Coalition.

“I am thrilled to welcome Neşe and Michael to my office,” said Clyburn. “Each brings a unique set of skills built from their experiences, both inside and outside the Commission, that will be an invaluable asset as we seek to advance a pro-consumer and pro-competition agenda,” continued Clyburn.

Clyburn had no comment on her plans, but a spokesperson did say that the addition of the two new staffers represents the "full slate" in her office, suggesting the chief of staff post would not be filled.

According to sources on the Hill and off it, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has proposed FCC Enforcement Bureau official Geoffrey Starks to succeed Clyburn as Democratic FCC Commissioner when she decides to exit--or when a new nominee speeds that process.

Clyburn has not signaled she is ready to exit, and didn't sound like if from here welcoming statement for new staffers. But it would take time for the FBI to vet a new nominee and hold a hearing and get them confirmed, so Schumer might be thinking ahead. Or Starks nomination could force the issue. Clyburn can serve until the end of the next Congress after her term ends--which it did last June--or until a successor is seated.

The Republicans are also trying to get a second, full-five-year term for Republican Commissioner Brendan Carr, who was only confirmed to fill an unexpired term--of former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler--and will need to pair him up with a Democrat if past is prologue.

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

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.