by Bob Hamilton on 07/02/2008, 11:41 AM

Tags: xm , fcc , sirius , tate , martin

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin had said he had hoped to vote on the merger of XM and Sirius by the end of June.  After the Justice Department approved the two companies joining together it's all up to the FCC.  Pressure from both the Senate and the House has been very public with letters urging Martin to demand the companies set aside at least 20 or 25% of their channels for minorities, public service and emergency broadcasts.  They have also demanded that XM/Sirius do what they had agreed to do years ago as it had to do with radios that tuned in to both services.  If the NAB is going to lose the battle against the merger, at least they want the new satellite radios to have a built in HD tuner.  That would be a huge boost to broadcast radio if the condition were required.  Word in Washington is that Kevin and Robert McDowell are ready to okay the deal. But Commissioner Adelstein and Copps are leaning toward voting against it.  That leaves the newest member of the five person Commission, Republican, Deborah Taylor Tate, who will cast the swing vote.  She has voted against Martin on certain issues, but it would be a rarity to vote against both Republicans and side with the Democrats....Peter Kaplan of Reuters has an in-depth story on Tate and the vote here...