Bush Picks New FCC Chairman, Conservatives Hail Decision

President Bush on Wednesday announced the appointment of Kevin Martin as the new head for the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. Martin, who served the FCC since 2001 as a commissioner, will replace the departing FCC Chairman Michael Powell.

"I look forward to working with the administration, Congress, my colleagues, and the FCC's talented staff to ensure that American consumers continue to enjoy the benefits of the best communications system in the world," Martin, 38, said in a statement.

Over the four years he worked at the agency, Martin developed a reputation as a tough enforcer of the FCC’s regulations.

Concerned Women for America (CWA), a Christian advocacy group, hailed Bush’s appointment, calling Martin “the right pick”.

"Commissioner Martin is the man we backed because he has a consistent and strong track record of decency enforcement," said Jan LaRue, CWA's chief counsel.

"He has been a champion of cleaning up the filth in broadcasting, and being chairman will only further posture him to do just that," LaRue added. "We have repeatedly urged our 500,000 constituents to flood the White House with calls urging the President to choose Kevin Martin for this essential role."

Martin has been known to press the agency to toughen its stance against broadcasters by issuing fines for each violation, often standing at odds with his predecessor, Powell.

In one such instance, Martin aggressively urged FCC action against the Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” last year.

According to Reuters, Powell will leave the agency on Thursday and Republican Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy also plans to depart soon, opening up two slots on the five-member panel.

Bush has not yet proposed successor to fill both Martin’s and Abernathy’s old spots. New members of the FCC must be confirmed by the Senate, but Martin’s appointment as chairman does not require the Senate confirmation.