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President George W. Bush has tapped Michael Powell, son of Secretary of State Colin Powell, as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

Powell, currently a commissioner on the five-member panel, was rumored to be the leading candidate for the Chairman job (hitsdailydouble.com, 1/11).

The Republican was appointed to the FCC in 1997, and his term expires in June 2002. As Chairman of the regulatory commission, Powell will oversee antitrust concerns in regard to entertainment mergers and movements, among many other duties.

Powell's designation as Chairman does not require Senate confirmation.

Before coming to the FCC, he served as chief of staff to the Justice Department's former antitrust topper, Joel Klein.

In his new role, Powell replaces William Kennard, the agency's first black chief, who left the post last week.

Until another commissioner is nominated, the FCC will have two Democrats and two Republicans, including Powell, sitting on the panel.