The World: Washington DC - FCC chairman Michael Powell departs

Michael Powell, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has resigned.

Powell, a Republican who joined the FCC in 1997 and has spent four years as its chairman, will leave in March.

His departure follows much media speculation and is expected to produce a significant change in FCC policy.

Powell was responsible for leading the charge for controversial new rules to ease restrictions on media consolidation and the ownership of multiple properties in regional markets.