Is it that time already?
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a nominations hearing on Tuesday (6/16) that will consider several presidential nominations. Among them: the renomination of a FCC Commissioner.
The individual who is on the witness list for the June 16 hearing, which begins at 2:30pm in the Dirksen SOB on Capitol Hill is Mike O’Rielly.
He’s the Republican Commissioner who first came to the attention of broadcast media leaders in the fall of 2013, as President Obama’s choice to fill a GOP seat on the FCC.
On March 20, 2020, O’Rielly’s latest renomination came from President Trump, and was lauded by many.
At the FCC, O’Rielly has emerged as a defender of Radio from unlicensed “pirate” operators and one of the industry’s biggest champions on Capitol Hill. With the NAB’s influence, he has largely pushed the Commission’s de-regulatory approach to stimulating radio revenue in an age when local digital entities are siphoning dollars at an increasing rate.
Trump’s renomination of O’Rielly, which came as the COVID-19 pandemic was reaching its U.S. apex, gained applause across both sides of the aisle.
Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel also chimed in, congratulating O’Rielly on his renomination.
She called him “incredibly knowledgeable on communications policy matters” while adding, “He has contributed so much to the work of the agency. Moreover, he has been a valuable colleague and friend. I look forward to continuing my work with Mike and wish him well in the confirmation process.”
NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith also offered kind words for O’Rielly, noting that broadcast media’s biggest advocacy group on Capitol Hill “strongly supports” his renomination to the FCC.
“Without question, Commissioner O’Rielly has served in this position with class, integrity and distinction,” Smith said, adding that he’s known O’Rielly since his days as a Capitol Hill staffer.
It’s now up to the Senate to confirm his nomination.