Senate Commerce OK's Clyburn, Baker For FCC

As expected, the Senate Commerce Committee Tuesday approved the nominations of Mignon Clyburn and Meredith Attwell Baker to the remaining two open seats on the FCC, according to spokesman for the committee.

The pair did not face particularly tough questioning at last week's nomination hearing in the committee, where a number of legislators signaled their support.

Baker, a Republican, is the former head of the National Telecommunications & Information
Administration and widely praised for her stewardship of the agency despite problems with the DTV-to-analog coupon program. Clyburn is a South Carolina utility regulator, former publisher of a small newspaper, and daughter of House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC).

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said Tuesday she hoped they and other nominees getting the committee's nod would be installed swiftly.

They still must get a vote in the full Senate, which could come this week.

Walter McCormick, president of USTelecom, agreed they should be installed as soon as possible. "We urge the U.S. Senate to swiftly confirm them as FCC Commissioners," he said. "From promoting pro-investment policies that enhance broadband infrastructure and accelerate deployment to tackling universal service and inter-carrier compensation reforms, both Clyburn and Baker possess the insight and experience to propel a breadth of broadband-enabled innovations."

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.