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Posted by on Jan 20, 2005 in At TMV | 0 comments

So Michael Powell Is Leaving The FCC…

FCC Chairman Michael Powell, the son of departing Secretary of State Colin Powell, and one of the most controversial FCC chiefs ever, is leaving the building.

But before there are celebrations in some quarters they might ask: who comes next? And will Powell’s critics consider the next person worse?

Here’s ABC’s report:

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael K. Powell, who opposed tight regulation of telecommunications but backed unprecedented fines against broadcast indecency, announced Friday he is resigning.

Powell, who has held the job for four years, said in a statement that he informed President Bush that he would depart in March.

Powell, the son of Secretary of State Colin Powell, who also is leaving the Bush administration, said he had completed a "bold and aggressive agenda" and looked forward to spending more time with his wife and two sons.

"Chairman Powell has been a valued member of the administration," White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said. "He has shown a strong commitment to expand the reach of new communications technologies and services and has helped advance the president’s goal that all Americans should have access to affordable broadband by 2007."

Yet other reports such as Business Week’s write of a Powell weary of battle, who truly wanted to move on:

Ultimately, what appeared to wear down Powell might have been the very sort of issue for which he’ll be most remembered. Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Tom Wolzien observes that Powell talked of how he hated having to deal with "wardrobe malfunctions," a reference to the exposed breast of Janet Jackson during last year’s Super Bowl game.

Guess what? Powell’s many critics in the broadcasting industry and other parts of the media hated with how he had to deal with them, too — feeling he was ringleader of a massive clampdown.

These reports suggest the timing — right after his father says goodbye to his State Depart men staff — may indeed have been coincidental. So now what?

The Maven on the Powell story is Jeff Jarvis who tells critics not to open their bottles of champagne:

I fear that the future will be only worse. As critical as I have been — justifiably — of Powell, I know that that in his soul of souls, Powell understands the value of the First Amendment. His successor may not. I fear that the White House and Congress — from, yes, both parties — will only amplify the looney voice of a few who would continue to limit our free speech on our airwaves.