The World: Washington - Kevin Martin appointed as head of FCC

Kevin J Martin (pictured) has been named as the head of the US Federal Communications Commission. The appointment, made by President Bush, avoids a likely political battle; as Martin is already a commissioner at the FCC, he does not require Senate confirmation.

Martin succeeds Michael Powell, whose new media ownership regulations the Senate had strongly opposed. Martin, an outspoken critic of obscenity in broadcast media, generally sided with Powell on deregulation.

His appointment was greeted positively by consumer groups, including the Parents Television Council, which said he would "make a superb chairman".