Wheeler: Won't Promise to Exit With New President

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler told a Senate Commerce panel Wednesday that it was too far in the future for him to commit to resigning his chairmanship after a new President is elected in November.

By custom, the chairman resigns unless specifically asked by the new President to stay on. Wheeler would not have to leave until January 2018.

At an FCC oversight hearing Wednesday (March 2), Commerce chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) asked whether the chairman would follow that custom.

Wheeler said he recognized the chairman's point and understood the precedent and expectation, but said he was not ready to say whether that would be the case with him or not and that it would not be the "wisest" move to make an "ironclad commitment."

"You don't think a President Trump would renominate him," ranking member Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) joked.

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.