WASHINGTON — Following post-election tradition, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Monday said he will step down next month, allowing President-elect Bill Clinton to appoint his own head of the influential regulatory agency.
Alfred C. Sikes, a Republican, has been chairman of the five-member FCC since Aug. 8, 1989. In letters to President George Bush and President-elect Clinton, Sikes made public his decision to resign as of Jan. 19. His term was to end June 30, 1993.
In his three years on the commission, Sikes, a lawyer and a one-time radio station owner, has been a leader in the Bush Administration's effort to reduce government regulation of the telecommunications industry. The FCC is responsible for regulating U.S. radio, television, wire, cable and satellite communications, and is considered one of the most influential of federal agencies.
There was no immediate indication who might succeed Sikes. But industry and agency sources speculated that candidates include Antoinette Cook, who is senior counsel for the Senate communications subcommittee and daughter-in-law of Clinton transition team Director Vernon Jordan; and Sharon Nelson, chairman of the Washington State Public Utilities Commission, who is said to be highly regarded by Vice President-elect Al Gore.