After months of speculation, President Obama announced today that he has nominated Julius Genachowski to lead the Federal Communications Commission. The formal announcement comes nearly two months after Obama transition team sources said the former IAC (NSDQ: IACI) execa Harvard Law classmate of the president and a transition advisorwould be his choice. Commissioner Michael Copps, a Democrat, has been the acting FCC chairman since Republican Kevin Martin resigned on Inauguration Day. In nominating Genachowski, the president said: "He will bring to the job diverse and unparalleled experience in communications and technology, with two decades of accomplishment in the private sector and public service. I know him as the son of immigrants who carries a deep appreciation for this country and the American dream; and as the proud father of three children working with his wife Rachel to be responsible parents in this digital age." More after the jump.
Genachowski's resume is close to unmatched in terms of media and FCC experience, even in a cluster of former FCC types on the transition team: in addition to his stint as a senior exec for Barry Diller, he was chief of staff to Clinton-era FCC Chairman Reed Hundt; he clerked for two U.S. Supreme Court justices; he founded digital business incubator LaunchBox Digital; helped found New Resource Bank, a commercial green bank; is a special advisor to General Atlantic; and is a cofounder and managing director of Rock Creek Ventures. He's served on the board of directors or advisors for numerous start-ups, including Web.com, Ticketmaster, The Motley Fool, Beliefnet (sold to NewsCorp), Truveo (sold to AOL), and Rapt (sold to Microsoft).
Of course, we can't tell at this point if any of these could come back to bite him as he makes his way through the confirmation process or be sure how any of his previous or current connections could affect his role in FCC matters should he be confirmed by the Senate Commerce Committee. And we can't offer a timetable, either, although with pressing issues before the FCC, including the postponed digital TV transition, and only three commissioners on hand, anything more than a few weeks would seem very long.
By Staci D. Kramer