Rockefeller 'Respects' Choice of Wheeler

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D- W. Va.) Friday said that he respected the president's decision to nominate Tom Wheeler to head the FCC.

"[Wheeler] has a long and diverse career in both communications policy and business," the chairman said in a statement Friday that neither buried nor praised the nominee. "In the next two years, the FCC will work toward promoting universal access to broadband, expanding the E-Rate program, and making sure incentive auctions generate funds to create a communications network for our first responders. I look forward to meeting soon with Mr. Wheeler and discussing the challenges facing the Commission."

Rockefeller had made no secret of his preference for commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, his former top telecom aide, to replace departing FCC chairman Julius Genachowski. He headlined a letter to the president from 37 senators asking him to seriously consider her for the post.

Rockefeller's committee must vet and vote on Wheeler before full-Senate confirmation.

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.