President Obama will nominate Tom Wheeler to become Chairman of the FCC, replacing Julius Genachowski. Wheeler has acted as an informal advisor to the President in recent years, in addition to being a major fundraiser for Obama's campaigns and a paid lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries (both of which face serious regulatory issues from the FCC).
As some public interest and industry groups commented, at least Wheeler has come real-world experience in the field, as a venture capitalist helping fund tech-based startups and stints with cable trade association NCTA and wireless (cellular) industry trade group CTIA.
"Tom Wheeler is an experienced leader in the communications technology
field who shares the president's commitment to protecting consumers,
promoting innovation, enhancing competition and encouraging investment," said an anonymous White House official who leaked the news yesterday.
That certainly is the hope - but the appointment could also signal a return to the "industry-captured" FCC and the revolving door habits of top FCC officials leaving for lucrative industry jobs; or as an extension of the Chicago-style crony capitalism embraced by this administration. At least Genachowski's immediate payoff is being filtered through the Aspen Institute think tank.
As for candidate Obama's promise to keep lobbyists out of his administration, that expired long, long ago.
Source - Obama to nominate Tom Wheeler as FCC chairman: official, Digital Producer Magazine