Commissioner gets boost toward FCC chair


Jessica RosenworcelWith the departure of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski now a sure thing, the cottage industry that turns out likely replacement rumors has shifted into a higher gear. However, where as many are just the subject of rumors, one candidate has gotten a high-powered letter of recommendation.

Jessican Rosenworcel has not quite made it to the first anniversary of her installation as an FCC Commissioner, but she has received a boost from Senate Commerce Committee Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). What’s more, according to Hillicon Valley, 36 other Democratic senators also signed the letter on Rosenworcel’s behalf, which was sent to President Barack Obama, whose right it is to make the nominations for both of the vacancies on the FCC’s 8th Floor (the other being the seat of Republican Robert McDowell).
Rosenworcel has staff-level experience at the FCC which predates her current gig, and more to the point, she has experience working for Rockefeller on the Hill.

The letter noted that it made sense to appoint a proven leader who is already on site, given that the FCC is currently in the middle of several key projects.

The Hill notes, however, that choosing Rosenworcel might have complications – particularly, jumping her ahead of Mignon Clyburn, who will be the senior Democrat and senior commissioner, period, once Genachowski and McDowell out the door, and who also have a strong tie to Congress in the form of her father, US Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC).

There is no guarantee that either will get the nod – there are several other names floating around. If there is a positive, it is that there is an opening for a seat from each party – that makes it much easier to get a confirmation, since both sides will have somebody to vote for and the results will not affect the balance of power as the commission moves back from three to five commissioners.

Stay tuned.