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Obama Adviser Says Genachowski To Head FCC

Perhaps it was a slip of the tongue. David Axelrod, President Obama's senior adviser, this weekend gave about as official a confirmation we've heard yet of Julius Genachowski's nomination to head the Federal Communications Commission.

In an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Axelrod was asked about the administration's position on the Fairness Doctrine.

Axelrod avoided answering the question, tossing the hot potato issue instead to Genachowski, who he said would be the next FCC chair.

"I'm going to leave that to Julius Genachowski, our new head of the FCC, to -- and the president to discuss. So I don't have an answer for you now," Axelrod said.

There you have it. Axelrod's comment was the first public acknowledgment of the Obama administration's plan to announce Genachowski's nomination. The nomination has been expected for weeks -- first reported in The Post late last December. But no official announcement has been made.

The nomination is being closely watched in the technology industry, along with the appointment of the head of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration and the nation's first Chief Technology Officer.

Indeed sources close to the administration and FCC said Genachowski's nomination has been treated like a foregone conclusion. They said the administration, Congress and the agency have been working largely with the expectation that Genachowski would be announced as the new chairman.

Democratic commissioner Michael J. Copps has been sitting in as acting chairman until Obama names a replacement.

The agency is expected to take on a higher profile. Technology and the deployment of broadband are a key part of Obama's plan for economic recovery. Congress approved $7.2 billion in stimulus funds to lay down high-speed Internet lines and create wireless broadband connection in rural areas of the nation.

By Cecilia Kang  |  February 17, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Cecilia Kang
Previous: FCC Says Some Stations Can't Switch Feb. 17 | Next: Obama Tech Adviser Says More to Come on Broadband Push

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