FCC chief Kevin Martin to leave agency

WASHINGTON Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:55pm GMT

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin speaks during a keynote address at the CTIA Wireless convention in Las Vegas, Nevada April 1, 2008.REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin speaks during a keynote address at the CTIA Wireless convention in Las Vegas, Nevada April 1, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Steve Marcus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Kevin Martin, a Republican who chaired the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for four years, said on Thursday he would be leaving the agency when the new administration takes over.

Martin, who had been a controversial figure for his strong stances on cable regulation and some other issues, could have stayed on as a member of the five-voting member independent regulatory body.

But President-elect Barack Obama's team will name the FCC chairman, which has much more power than the other four commissioners, setting the agenda and controlling a vast staff.

Martin gave no other details on the timing of his plans.

(Editing by Maureen Bavdek)