RIAA Hones List

Posted July 8, 2003 at 5:11pm

Former Rep. Susan Molinari (R-N.Y.), a woman with a face for television, will not be the voice of the music industry.

The onetime Member of Congress last week took herself out of consideration for the top lobbying job at the Recording Industry Association of America.

Meanwhile, top music industry executives trimmed former Republican National Committee Chairman Rich Bond from the running, narrowing the number of candidates to a handful.

The leading candidate is now John Buckley, a Republican now with AOL Time Warner, the parent of RIAA member Warner Music.

Industry sources said RIAA and search firm Korn/Ferry International hope to announce the new chief within two weeks after a final meeting with the search committee.

Hilary Rosen, the industry’s outgoing chief, exited her post last month, leaving the association in the hands of acting director Cary Sherman.

The RIAA post is one of the most coveted in town. The winner will have beaten a list of well-connected candidates.

Among those interviewed for the post were former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, former White House spokesman Mike McCurry, Bond and Molinari.

In an interview Monday, Bond said he was notified last week that his candidacy was “over and out” by officials involved with the search.

Molinari pulled herself out of the running long after she was considered to be the frontrunner.

“It probably wasn’t a good fit anyway,” Molinari said. “If they had called and said, ‘You have the job,’ it would have been some real soul-searching.”

Reps. Mary Bono (R-Calif.) and Jennifer Dunn (R-Wash.) also were mentioned for the job, but staffers for both lawmakers said they have been neither contacted nor interviewed for the position.

Meanwhile, Mitch Bainwol, the onetime head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and Ron Kirk, who lost to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) last fall, were contacted about the job. But they were not considered serious candidates.

Valenti’s Successor Coming? Hollywood insiders emerged from last week’s high-powered meeting in Los Angeles with a list of candidates to replace Jack Valenti when he steps down as president of the Motion Picture Association of America.

As expected, tops on the industry’s wish list are several current and former Members of Congress.

According to sources close to the MPAA’s search, the list includes Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), who has insisted he will not retire; Sen. John Breaux (D-La.), who has deferred a decision on whether he will retire; and former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), who has retired.

Movie executives, who plan to handle the search internally, hope to settle on a replacement by the end of the year.

Livingston Pushes West. While the Louisiana Purchase did not extend to cover what would become the state of Idaho, one of the Bayou State’s most potent powerbrokers, former Rep. Bob Livingston (R), has annexed the Gem State — or at least one of Idaho’s most influential rainmakers. 

Ron McMurray, the former D.C. representative for the state’s Republican governor, Dirk Kempthorne — who is reportedly being eyed to head the Environmental Protection Agency — has affiliated with Livingston’s lobbying outfit, the Livingston Group.

McMurray is well-connected to Idaho’s business and trading partners and his résumé is highlighted with some other notable positions, including chairman of Idaho’s Republican Party and member of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick’s International Policy Advisory Committee.

He also carries substantial transportation credentials, serving as president and executive director or Idaho’s Lewiston seaport, vice president of the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association and president of the Columbia/Snake River Marketing Group.

Hilleary Takes K Street Post. After losing a tight race for the Tennessee statehouse last year, former Rep. Van Hilleary (R) has re-emerged in D.C.

The forrmer Assistant Whip and Deputy Whip has joined the law firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal’s public law and public strategies group.

APCO Adds One. Tim Warner, a public relations official who once worked for Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), joins APCO Worldwide.

Before joining APCO, Warner was director of communications for Immunex Corp., now part of Amgen.

Prior to his time at Immunex, Warner served as communications director for Baucus and spokesman for then-Sen. Brock Adams (D-Wash.).