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GOP Vets New FCC Name

There was movement on the FCC nominee front last week. Senate Commerce Committee chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) scheduled a June 18 hearing on the nomination of Tom Wheeler as FCC chairman, and a highly placed source confirmed Republicans had interviewed Fred Campbell for the seat of former commissioner Robert McDowell.

Campbell, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Communications Liberty & Innovation Project, declined comment. But a source said that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)’s staff spoke with Campbell about the post.

McConnell is said to have wanted to extend the search to include academics and think-tank officials, and Campbell would fit the bill. A veteran communications attorney, Campbell was a wireless advisor to FCC chairman Kevin Martin, chief of the wireless bureau and a legal adviser on auction policies, arguably the FCC’s central issue as it preps for a second spectrum incentive auction. He is also a former president of the Wireless Communications Association International (WCAI). Wheeler, President Obama’s choice to succeed FCC chief Julius Genachowski, is also a former wireless trade group chief (CTIA) so they could certainly compare notes if both make the cut.

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.