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FCC Silent as Martin Hits the Books

The Media Institute has canceled a March 24 luncheon that was scheduled to feature a speech by Bob Pepper, acting chief of the Federal Communications Commission's Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis.

Pepper canceled his speech after new FCC chairman Kevin Martin issued an email last Friday to FCC senior staff, ordering them not to release any major staff-level decisions or public notices until Martin's office gets a chance to review them. Staff also have been asked not to give speeches on behalf of the commission or make other public statements purportedly reflecting the commission's views "until further notice."
Typically, staff level decisions receive the review of the agency chairman but not other commissioners. Consequently Martin and his aides are not familiar with all of the staff rulings now in the works and want to make sure the decisions reflect his on preferences before being issued.