President Barack Obama's nomination of Julius Genachowski to be the next FCC chairman has been sent to the Senate, according to Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, who will preside over his nomination hearing. That makes it official.
“Chairman Rockefeller is pleased to officially receive the formal nomination of Julius Genachowski to be the next Federal Communications Commission Chairman," said Deputy Communications Director Jena Longo. "Julius Genachowski has the public and private sector experience in telecommunications to reinvigorate the FCC. Senator Rockefeller commends President Obama for nominating someone who is completely committed to making technology accessible to all Americans and he looks forward to working on the many challenges that the Commission and the Committee will face in the months and years ahead.”
The president signalled his intention to nominate Genachowski on March 3, though he was widely known to have been the administration's choice for weeks before that.
Genachowski, a former Harvard Law School classmate of Obama's, helped draft the Obama campaign's tech policy plan, which at the time boiled down to "open government, open networks, and open markets." Only days after the election, he was tapped along with another Hundt lieutenant, Blair Levin, to draft tech policy for the new administration.
Genachowski has a range of experience in the law, business, politics, communications, and new media to draw from. He is co-founder of venture capital firm Rock Creek Ventures, a former adviser to FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, and was a senior executive from 1997 to 2005 at Barry Diller's Internet company, IAC/InterActiveCorp. He is also former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice David Souter and retired Justice William Brennan. His congressional experience includes the staff of the Joint Select Committee on Iran-Contra and in the office of then Rep. Charles Schumer of New York.
Genachowski must still get a confirmation hearing and approval from Rockefeller's committee, then approval from the full Senate. Both are considered formalities given the widespread support and praise for his nomination. No word from Rockefeller's office when that hearing would be held.
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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.