FCC Commissioner Michael Copps announces exit


It is widely known that the service of Michael Copps as a Democratic member of the FCC is in its waning days. Now Copps has made it official, saying he has offered President Barack Obama his resignation effective 1/1/12, and promising to leave sooner if his replacement is confirmed prior to that date.

Copps has been a Commissioner since 2001, and served as acting Chairman in the interim between the terms of Kevin Martin and Julius Genachowski. During that period, Copps was instrumental in keeping the DTV transition on track. He is due to be replaced by Jessica Rosenworcel, whose nomination, along with that of Repubican Ajit Pai, is pending Senate confirmation.

Copps said, “Yesterday, I submitted to the President notice of my intention to resign my post as Commissioner effective January 1, 2012.  Should the Senate confirm my successor prior to that date, or should the Senate adjourn sine die before January 1st, I would of course be leaving sooner.

“It has been a privilege and honor to serve for more than ten years as a Commissioner.  The FCC is an agency of true excellence and its decisions are integral to our country’s future.  Ubiquitous, opportunity-creating broadband and a resource-rich media capable of informing our civic dialogue are critically-important components of our future success as a people, and I intend to keep speaking about these challenges as a private citizen in the years ahead.

“It has been the highest honor to serve with my colleagues on the Commission.  I thank them all for their dedication, collegiality and friendship.  I also owe an enormous debt to the Commission staff.  Their professionalism and dedication to the public interest stands as a model of government service.”

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski commented, “Commissioner Michael Copps has been a great teacher, colleague and friend. I applaud his deep and abiding respect for public service during the past forty-one years, his unflagging dedication to American consumers, and the passion and eloquence of his public statements. We will long remember and be inspired by the work of Commissioner Copps to give voice to the voiceless and to fight for the public interest.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Many broadcasters found Copps to be an antagonist, but you have to say one thing in his favor: He has never for a second wavered in his belief that the local broadcast medium remains one of critical importance to the nation.