Rosenworcel, CPB Board Nominations Withdrawn

President Donald Trump this week withdrew the nominations of Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel to the FCC and two board members for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which oversees federal funding of noncommercial radio and TV.

All had been nominations submitted in the waning days of the Obama Administration.

Rosenworcel has been gone for a couple of months after her term expired without a renomination vote in the full Senate. Some fans had held out she might return to re-fill her own vacancy given that her nomination was still pending and that Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, had signaled in early January he was open to her return.

But that was more likely had Hillary Clinton won and was always considered a long shot even then.

The nominations were withdrawn Feb. 28.

The normally five-member FCC is now down two commissioners, a Democratic and a Republican seat, after the change in administration and the exit of both chairman Tom Wheeler and Rosenworcel.

At a Senate Communications Subcommittee hearing on spectrum policy Thursday, ranking member Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) criticized the President for withdrawing Rosenworcel's nomination and those of other agencies, saying he was "appalled" by the mass withdrawal of nominations, calling it a "provocative act" and calling on President Trump to renominate her and the Senate to keep its "commitment" to confirm her.

He said the country needed a fully-staffed FCC to deal with the spectrum issues being teed up at the hearing.

The CPB withdrawals were the nominations of Brent Franklin Nelsen and David Arroyo, both for terms that would have expired in 2022.

Noncoms are worried that federal funding could be cut as part of the President's new budget.

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.