As the popular Washington sport of nominee-guessing continues, one name keeps rising higher than most of the others when it comes to the successor to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. That name is Don Gips of Level 3 Communications Inc., and a former staffer with Al Gore. Also accumulating an impressive pile of frequent mention miles is Julius Genachowski, an Obama advisor who is thought to be in line for Obama’s new Chief Technology Office slot. Wall Street Journal is the latest to intone the two names, and it mentions Gips as a possibility for either position. WSJ does not expect a decision for at least two weeks.
For his part, Martin has indicated that he has no plans to leave, or to do anything. Republican Deborah Taylor Tate has not been nominated for a full term and is widely believed to be headed out the door. Democrat Jonathan Adelstein, who would also require renomination to stick around, has been mentioned as a candidate for work elsewhere in the new administration. That leaves Democrat Michael Copps and Republican Robert McDowell as the two current commissioners in the most stable position.
RBR/TVBR observation: If Obama has an FCC nominee within four weeks, that would seem extraordinarily early in the process to us. But it should make for a very interesting Open Meeting – that timetable would have a new name floating out there prior to the next commissioner get-together scheduled for 12/18/08.