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Bob Kerrey emerges as lead candidate to head MPAA

May 21, 2010 |  1:32 pm

KerreyFormer U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey is poised to become the next head of the Motion Picture Assn. of America.

Kerrey, a former Democratic governor and senator from Nebraska, is the favored candidate to replace Dan Glickman as chairman and chief executive of Hollywood's chief lobbying group, people familiar with the matter said.

The heads of the major studios have reached a consensus that Kerrey, who is president of The New School university in New York City but is expected to step down this summer, is the best person for the job, these people said.

Negotiations, however, are still underway and no contract has been finalized.

A spokeswoman for the MPAA declined to comment. Kerrey could not be reached.

The MPAA has been searching for a replacement for Glickman since January. Kerrey is among about two dozen candidates the MPAA had considered for the job, which carries a salary of about $1.2 million a year.

Among them were New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a former Democratic presidential candidate; Harold Ford Jr., a former Democratic congressman from Tennessee; outgoing Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.); and Bob Pisano, who was named interim MPAA chief executive in January after Glickman announced he was resigning.

A former congressman from Kansas and secretary of Agriculture, Glickman had been a disappointment to studio executives, who have been looking for a high-profile candidate who could wield more star power and clout in Washington and Hollywood, as the legendary Jack Valenti had done for nearly four decades.

The Wrap first reported that Kerrey was being tapped to head the MPAA.

-- Richard Verrier

Photo: Bob Kerrey. Credit: Peter Morgan / Reuters.