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Posted at 12:50 PM ET, 03/20/2013

At FCC, GOP commissioner’s departure clears way for Genachowski’s exit


FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell announced he’s stepping down. (T.J. Kirkpatrick - Getty Images)
Republican FCC commissioner Robert McDowell Wednesday announced he’s leaving the post, making it more likely that the commission’s Democratic chairman will soon depart, too.

McDowell, one of two Republicans on the five-member commission, said he’s leaving the job “in a few weeks.”

And observers say that move makes it easier for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to soon follow him to the doors — since now he’ll leave Democrats with a 2-1 voting advantage (whereas if he’d left before McDowell, the FCC would be in a 2-2 deadlock).

McDowell said he didn’t have a post-FCC job lined up yet. And it’s unclear who President Obama might name as his successor, though whoever the GOP pick is, that nominee could wind up paired with the Democratic nominee to replace Genachowski, following in the tradition of grouping one Democratic candidate with a GOP one for a smoother Senate confirmation.

Though Genachowski Wednesday said he had “no news” regarding if and when he’d leave the FCC, the White House has been interviewing potential replacements.

Sounds like they might want to stay close to the phone.

By  |  12:50 PM ET, 03/20/2013

 
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