Senate confirms Genachowski for FCC chair

It took almost half a year to get it done, but the Senate has confirmed the appointment of Julius Genachowski as the next head of the Federal Communications Commission. The Senate also confirmed Robert McDowell, the sole Republican member among those currently seated, to his second five-year term.

The FCC has been operating shorthanded for quite some time, with just three seated for five positions on the bipartisan-by-law commission. President Obama on Thursday nominated two candidates for those slots. For the remaining Republican position, the White House named Meredith Atwell Baker, who has served previously in the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, or NTIA -- the very organization in charge of distributing those $40 upgrade coupons for consumers needing help with the digital-TV switch. Mignon Clyburn has been nominated for the Democratic position. A former newspaper editor and publisher, Ms. Clyburn is a longtime member of South Carolina's Public Service Commission. She is the daughter of Rep. James Clyburn.

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