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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Big Media Smells Bush Defeat 

So much to do before the transfer of sovereignty. From the Chicago Tribune (via Xan at Corrente):
Convinced that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael K. Powell will step down this winter, lobbyists for media and telecommunications companies are rushing to put their pet issues on the agency's agenda.

At least two other commissioners are pondering leaving the FCC. And that could significantly alter the political makeup of the five-member commission that regulates the nation's broadcasting and telecommunications industries.

The 41-year-old Powell denied that he had any immediate plans to leave. But the former Army officer and antitrust lawyer recently prepared a six-month strategy for resolving the controversial media ownership, indecency and telephone competition issues that have become hallmarks of his tenure . . . .

Another Washington lawyer, who represents television station owners and who asked not to be identified, said he had begun advising clients to wrap up any deals that might require FCC approval . . . .

FCC Chief of Staff Bryan Tramont said Powell "has no plans to leave after the president's reelection," disputing that the chairman would want to depart after a Bush victory. Tramont acknowledged, though, that Powell had done some thinking about wrapping things up in the event of a win by the presumed Democratic nominee, Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts.

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