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MPAA chief set for September exit

Piracy-buster pursues 'extracurricular' interests

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The chairman and CEO of Motion Picture Association of America, Dan Glickman, will exit stage left when his contract ends this September.

Glickman, a former Agriculture Department secretary and Democrat congressman from Kansas, has held the post as Hollywood's top lobbyist to Washington for five years following the retirement of longtime MPAA head, Jack Valenti. Glickman first divulged his plans for departure in an interview with Politico.com, which ran last Sunday.

"My guess is that I'll end up in the nonprofit or academic world," he told the website. "People who know me know I've had these great extracurricular interests that have been very significant in driving me."

Glickman devoted much of his time championing anti-piracy efforts on behalf of the six major movie studios: Sony Pictures, Universal Studios, Warner Bros., Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, and Paramount Pictures.

The news follows ousting of several MPAA executives over the past few months, as well as unhappy rumblings over the Glickman's failure to obtain taxed cuts for filmed entertainment in the US federal stimulus bill.

Hollywood trade rag Variety reports there's speculation his exit may mark a transition to scaling back the MPAA's budget while studios rely more on their own in-house lobbying teams.

The organization has not announced a successor yet, but names being tossed about include Disney lobbyist Richard Bates, Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr., and even California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger after his term ends. ®

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