Senate Commerce Committee Approves Cahill Nomination

The Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday approved the nomination of Patricia Cahill to be a member of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Cahill is the general manager of noncom KCUR-FM Kansas City as well as an assistant professor of communications at the University of Missouri, which runs the station.

She is also a former board member of National Public Radio. Cahill must still get Senate approval, which is not expected to be a problem.

The same, at least in the short term, could not be said for fellow nominee, Daniel Elliott, to the Surface Transportation Board, whose nomination added some unexpected drama to what is often a fairly pro format vote.

His nomination was also approved but an immediate hold put on it by ranking member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and joined by Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WVA). A single Senator can hold up a full Senate vote on any nomination for any reason.

That hold came after a press release was issued and read at the hearing in suggesting that union and PAC influence had helped secure the Elliott nomination from the administration.

Rockefeller called it an inexcusable suggestion and said the union president should write a letter of apology.

Hutchison said that she wanted to get a response from the union first that they weren't implying undue influence before the hold could be lifted.

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.