Washington, DC - Jan 23, 2009 - Democrat Michael Copps has been named acting FCC chairman. Copps stated he was honored to be designated. "I thank President Obama for his confidence in me and for this opportunity to serve. I know that I have a truly gifted and terrific team to work with. I pledge every effort I am capable of to help steer the Commission through its current transition to new leadership," he said.
Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein released the following statement: "The FCC will benefit from [Copps'] leadership, experience, and abiding commitment to the public interest. He understands that public service is a sacred trust with the American people, and he has repeatedly demonstrated his sterling character, willingness to build consensus, and deep commitment to serve all Americans. During our six years on the Commission, he has consistently worked to ensure that consumers reap the benefits of a responsive and diverse media, robust and ubiquitous broadband Internet access, and reliable public safety communications. With the transition to digital television almost upon us, he will provide urgently needed guidance to put us back on track. On a personal level, I look forward to continuing the close relationship that we have forged working together on these and so many other important issues. The American people will be well served by him at the helm of the FCC."
Commissioner Robert McDowell said he was pleased with the announcement. "I appreciate the sacrifices Beth, Mike and the Copps family have made during his distinguished public service career. I look forward to continuing to work with him at this unique time," he said.
NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr said, "The NAB salutes Michael Copps for being selected acting chairman of the FCC. We respect Chairman Copps for his tenacious commitment to the public interest, and we look forward to working with him and the other Commissioners."
Copps has served the FCC for nearly eight years, first sworn in in 2001. In 2005, he was nominated for a second term, which was set to run out in 2010. Copps previously served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development at the U.S. Department of Commerce. He came to Washington in 1970, joining the staff of Senator Ernest Hollings (D-SC) and serving for over a dozen years as Chief of Staff.
Obama is expected to announce Julius Genachowski as the new FCC chairman, but will also need to fill the Republican seat vacated by Deborah Tate.