WASHINGTON — After dropping off the list of contenders for a top spot on the Federal Communications Commission, Bruce McGorrill’s name is being discussed in Washington once again, according to industry insiders.
But while McGorrill, executive vice president of Maine Broadcasting, put his name forward for the position, he has refused to discuss the issue. He also has asked his staff not to release any information about him or his candidacy.
Members of the broadcasting community are talking about McGorrill as a potential successor to Sherrie Marshall, a Bush appointee, who vacated her seat on the commission in April.
McGorrill has won the support of Senate Majority George J. Mitchell, according to Andrew Schwartzman, executive director of the Media Access Project, a public interest telecommunication company.
Although the president formally nominates candidates for the vacant seats, the president often draws his candidate from informal recommendations made by the Senate.
Mitchell’s office would not comment on whether they were sponsoring McGorrill’s nomination.
As a member of the National Association of Broadcaster’s television board and its legal liaison committee, McGorrill has experience with broadcasting regulations. He also is chairman of the NBC affiliate’s government relations committee and has served on the board of the Television Bureau of Advertisers.
“He is a very perceptive and sharp analyst of the broadcasting industry,” Walter Wurfel, NAB spokesman, said.”He understands the issues affecting broadcasting and cable in great depth.” But McGorrill’s chances are unclear because the White House is reportedly looking for a woman to fill the position he is qualified to fill.
“It is highly unlikely that we would have no women on the FCC in the year 1993,” he said.
There also already is one broadcaster on the board at a time when the FCC is focusing on broader issues — another possible obstacle for McGorrill.
But other industry representatives say McGorrill’s background could actually be an advantage.
“Broadcasting is only part of the communication issues dealt with at the FCC, but is still impacts a great deal on what is needed (as a member),” Katherine Dolley, president of the Maine Association of Broadcasters, said.
“He would be a good choice,” she added. He has worked as a hands-on broadcaster and he is very well aware of all issues facing the broadcasting industry.”