Former Sen. Chris Dodd to head MPAA


The rumor is now fact. Former Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) is the new CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Dodd begins the new job March 17, but – as NAB CEO Gordon Smith did – he will have to sit-out lobbying his former Senate colleagues until he’s been out of office two years.

“I am truly excited about representing the interests of one of the most creative and productive industries in America, not only in Washington but around the world,” Dodd said of his new post.

Heading MPAA is one of the most high-profile lobbying jobs in Washington. It was made that way by Jack Valenti, who headed the organization representing Hollywood studios for 38 years until retiring in 2004. He was succeeded by former Rep. Dan Glickman (D-KS), who had previously served as US Secretary of Agriculture. Glickman stepped down last year and Bob Pisano has been holding down the fort while the board searched for a new CEO.

Dodd did not seek re-election last year after serving 30 years in the US Senate. While the former senator won’t be able to lobby his former colleagues until 2013 (unless invited to testify in a hearing), there are no restrictions on his lobbying the FCC, where MPAA recently pressed for restrictions on the Comcast acquisition of NBC Universal which were designed to protect the studios regarding online video distribution.