The White House appears ready to name Antoinette D. Cook, senior counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee, to head the Federal Communications Commission. But President Clinton probably won't announce the nomination until after an Apr. 1 meeting at which the FCC plans to dispatch a couple of contentious issues. At the session, the commission is expected to adopt rules covering local regulation of cable TV rates and to sweep away restrictions on the networks' role in the $3 billion syndication business. Holding off an appointment would allow a new chair to avoid entanglement in these ancient controversies. The 35-year-old Cook, stepdaughter of Clinton transition chairman Vernon E. Jordan Jr., would fill the vacant seat of Chairman Alfred C. Sikes. Columbia University economist Eli M. Noam is a leading candidate for another seat on the commission.

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