Senate Confirms Chopra for CTO

The Senate confirmed Aneesh Chopra for Chief Technology Officer Thursday night, a post that will almost certainly be key to monitoring the administration's broadband policy goals across agencies and issues.

Also getting their official nods late Thursday were veteran cable lawyer Cameron Kerry (brother of Senator John Kerry) as general counsel of the Department of Commerce and former Discovery chief Judith McHale as under secretary of state for public diplomacy at the State Department.

One Commerce nominee notable for his absence from the Senate home page list of confirmed nominations was Larry Strickling, nominated to head up the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, which is dealing with doling out DTV-to-analog converter box coupons in the run-up (now race-up) to the June 12 cut-off date for analog broadcasting.

Strickling sailed through his confirmation hearing earlier in the week along with Chopra and several others who also were confirmed by the Senate Thursday before it recessed for the Memorial Day Break.

The Senate won't be back in session until the afternoon of June 1.

A Senate Commerce Committee spokesperson was not available for comment on why the hold-up on Strickling, but a staffer there suggested a call to the majority leader’s office. Regan Lachapelle, deputy communications director for Majority Leader Harry Reid, who controls the calendar, would only say: “We are still working to get an agreement to consider the nomination and hope to be able to do so soon."

Also still awaiting confirmation, and in their case a nomination hearing in committee, are FCC chairman designate Julius Genachowski in the Senate Commerce Committee and FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, as administrator of the Ag Department's Rural Utilities Service, in the Agriculture Committee.

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.