Friday, January 21, 2005
FCC Chair Michael Powell, who joined the agency in 1998, becoming its head in 2001, may be set to leave long before his term ends in 2007. Sources say he will announce his resignation later today. Powell's leadership has been characterized by battles with the networks over obscenity and indecency, the latest over Howard Stern's comments on talk radio and Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" on a 2004 Super Bowl half-time show. Powell also backed the controversial media ownership rule changes many of which the Third Circuit stayed later in the year pending further justification by the agency. (The Third Circuit's page providing links to media ownership rules documents is available here). Powell has also tried to promote digital broadcasting, a move that broadcasting have resisted since most viewers continue to balk at the price of HDTV units.