Julius Genachowski, a Harvard classmate of and telecom adviser to Barack Obama, has been working on filling two positions in the new administration, the brand new Chief Technology Officer slot and the good old traditional Chairman of the FCC slot. A new report suggests he may be slotting himself into the traditional spot. According to a Washington Post blog, Genachowski conferred with congressional Democrats and discovered that if he wants actual policy-making teeth, the FCC position is the way to go. Presumably the clout of the CTO would extend only within the confines of the actual Obama administration, even if it would nominally be seen at the White House as above the FCC Chairman.
The WaPo blog suggested the FCC pick might earn an announcement on Friday 12/18/08. At an afternoon presser, Obama did announce some appointments, but the FCC Chairmanship was not among the offices getting nominees, nor did he come up in a subsequent announcement about science/technology posts.
RBR/TVBR observation: Genachowski’s nomination would be anything but a surprise. His name has surfaced early an often in the Washington speculation game. If selected, he will not be going to the FCC with broadcasting on the top of his mind. It’s no secret that net neutrality figures to be a big FCC priority under Obama, and a Genachowski pick would be a convincing confirmation.