The Senate completed revamping the leadership of the Federal Communications Commission today by approving the agency's chief lawyer as chairman in a move to bring more telephone and cable competition as envisioned in last year's telecommunications law.
On a 99-1 vote, the Senate endorsed Bill Kennard, a Democrat, as the first black chairman of the five-member commission. Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., dissented.
Three new commissioners were approved Tuesday night by voice vote: Harold Furchtgott-Roth and Michael Powell, both Republicans, and Gloria Tristani, a Democrat. Susan Ness, another Democrat, retains her post.
All four new FCC members will take office soon, but a specific date has not been set. They will serve five-year terms.