Commissioner Rosenworcel Appointed Acting FCC Chairwoman

Posted on January 29th, 2021 by

President Biden has appointed FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel as Acting FCC Chairwoman. The appointment probably makes her the frontrunner to be permanently appointed in that role, an action that requires Senate consent and will likely take a few more months.

The implications for broadcasters remain to be seen from a Rosenworcel-led Commission, though we note that her “no” votes on matters that connected stations to their communities (i.e., the now defunct requirement to maintain a main studio and minimum staffing, and the multiple ownership rule changes) provide some insights, as do her positions on diversity in ownership and employment matters. We anticipate previously announced proceedings that were slated for 2021 such as the filing window for new NCE radio stations, and the potential rescheduling of Auction 106 for commercial FM frequencies, will take place barring unforeseen decisions or circumstances.

We have learned that Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel will continue the transparency efforts of the former Chairman related to pre-publication of draft rulemakings or orders three weeks in advance of Commission meetings. In general, we found that practice helpful to the public and Commission in getting a new rule or rule change correct the first time, and avoiding confusion on the scope of proceedings.