Obama announces Republican nominee for FCC


FCCThe name Michael P. O’Rielly appeared on a lengthy list of nominees to various federal posts which require Senate approval, stating the simple and unadorned fact that he has been selected by the White House to complete the term of former Commissioner Robert McDowell.

Here is the FCC portion of the White House announcement in its entirety: “Michael P. O’Rielly of New York, to be a Member of the Federal Communications Commission for the remainder of the term expiring June 30, 2014, vice Robert M. McDowell, resigned.”

O’Rielly is currently on the staff of Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), and has previously worked for Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and John Sununu (R-NH). He has also served on the staff of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith offered his congratulations to the new nominee, stating,””NAB congratulates Michael O’Rielly on his nomination to the FCC. He will bring years of public policy experience and a deep breadth of knowledge on telecom issues to the Commission. Once confirmed, we look forward to working with him on matters of critical importance to free and local broadcasting.”

Members of the wireless community were also quick to offer congratulations.

CTIA President/CEO Steve Largent said, “On behalf of the wireless industry, we congratulate Mike on his nomination. Once confirmed, the Commission will benefit from his impressive depth of experience in telecommunications, consistent commitment to public service and keen understanding of the vast importance that wireless broadband drives our economy. We look forward to working with Mike on the broad range of important spectrum and other wireless telecom matters that are pending before the Commission and are vital to Americans continuing to enjoy the benefits provided by the world’s leading wireless industry.”

Added Verizon public policy SVP Craig Silliman, “Verizon congratulates Mike O’Rielly on his nomination to serve as commissioner at the FCC. His experience and public service are tremendous assets that will prove invaluable as the commission addresses pressing needs, including the availability of spectrum, the transition to IP-based services and the need to modernize the country’s outdated policy framework for communications technology. We look forward to working with Mr. O’Rielly and the full commission on policies that stimulate innovation and benefit American consumers.”

RBR-TVBR observation: For Tom Wheeler, this is just what the doctor ordered. When it comes to approving FCC commissioners, the Senate generally likes to do it in matched pairs – and this will provide the Republican counterweight that Democrat Wheeler requires. Look for Commerce Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) to move O’Rielly though the process with all due haste.