The seniority system in the House of Representatives took a hit as Henry Waxman (D-CA) claimed the Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee at the expense of John Dingell (D-MI). The in-caucus vote was 137-122. The effect on broadcasters is likely minimal. The vote hinged on environmental and energy. Both can be tough on business interests in the communications arena. One thing that will not change much is the traffic running through the committee. Both are not afraid to fill up the schedule of any panel they are in charge of.
RBR/TVBR observation: Waxman is the more liberal of the two, and has joined in from time to time with one of the more rabid House members when it comes to media issues, Maurice Hinchey (D-NY). On the other hand, Waxman was one of the very few to oppose the $325K fines that go along with the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act.