Julius Genachowski will step down as head of the FCC, the agency that regulates cable, broadcast and telephone companies, and will announce his departure as early as Friday, according to reports from Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, and Reuters.
The resignation of Chairman Genachowski, a Democrat appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009, would mark the second FCC commissioner this week to say he would leave the agency, as Robert McDowell, a Republican first appointed in 2006, said Wednesday he was quitting.
Replacements for both commissioners would need to be appointed by Obama and approved by the Senate. Obama could elevate one of the remaining three members to replace Genachowski as chairman, or one of his new appointees could assume the role.
Genachowski’s reign as chairman marked a contrast with previous FCC panels, as he focused on technologies and regulations designed to promote access to broadband while de-emphasizing broadcast indecency and the loosening of media-ownership rules, which were priorities when Republicans ruled the FCC under President George W. Bush.
The FCC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.