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Radio News: More signs point to Eisenach as Trump's FCC choice

Nov 21, 2016 10:55 pm
Jeffrey Eisenach, the head of the President-elect's telecom transition team, has now been named to the Federal Communications Commission transition team for Donald Trump, further leading speculation that he will be nominated for FCC chairman. Eisenach, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, an elite Republican think tank, would certainly end net neutrality, and, previously worked for Verizon, he has supported other mergers. So his views on the AT&T merger with Time-Warner might be different than his boss, who has spoken against the merger. Eisenach, “has been supportive of all the deals in the last few years, including the AT&T/[T-Mobile] and Comcast/Time Warner Cable deals,” according to a recent investor note from the analyst firm New Street Research. “Either there's going to be mass tension within his team, or he's going to sit back and let the [establishment conservatives] have their way — in which case, all of his campaign rhetoric on blowing up Comcast and AT&T was just cheap talk,” Hal Singer, an economist and senior fellow at the George Washington Institute for Public Policy, told the Washington Post. Beyond the chair, the FCC shakeup is unknown -- Republicans have blocked Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel's renomination for the commission, and if she does not get a full senate vote, she will leave when the new Congress is seated in January. Traditionally, the leader of the opposition party -- in this case New York Senator Chuck Schumer -- would nominate another Democrat to fill the seat on the FCC, with the president's nomination of a new chairperson flipping the vote 3-2 to the Republicans. But Trump has said he will not follow convention in every case, so it is hard to tell if Schumer will get to nominate a Democrat, or not.