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(Aug. 27, 2001) -- Federal Communications Commissioner Gloria Tristani, who has been a fierce critic of some of the media consolidation permitted by fellow commissioners, is quitting to return to New Mexico, reportedly to run for office.

Ms. Tristani was chairman of the New Mexico utility commission and is expected to announce a bid for the Democratic senate nomination for the seat now held by Republican Peter Domenici, a ranking member of the Senate budget committee.

On the FCC, she has repeatedly questioned whether the commission under Chairman Michael Powell is adequately examining the public interest in looking at issues such as media consolidation and its effect on advertisers and obscenity.

Ms Tristani said she will step down Sep. 7, after four years on the commission. -- Ira Teinowitz

Copyright August 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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