WASHINGTON — Hoping to smooth out the wrinkles in its lobbying operation, AOL Time Warner on Thursday announced that ex-Clinton aide Susan Brophy will start work Monday as senior veep for domestic policy, i.e., top Washington lobbyist.
Brophy will report to AOL Time Warner exec veep for global and strategic policy Robert Kimmitt, who is focused more on global lobbying. Brophy will serve as the conglom’s rep on Capitol Hill and at the Motion Picture Assn. of America.
A longtime Democratic player in Washington politics, Brophy served as deputy director for legislative affairs in the Clinton White House.
“I’m looking forward to helping shape and advocate our public policy positions in support of our goal of becoming the world’s most valued and respected company,” Brophy said in a statement.
Brophy has her job cut out for her. Since the merger, AOL TW’s Washington shop has been plagued by top-level exits and arrivals. Entertainment lobbyists are a tight crowd when gathering together at the MPAA, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed that AOL Time Warner’s seat at the MPAA table has largely been empty.
From the get-go, the newly merged company knew it faced a formidable task in trying to replace longtime Time Warner lobbyist Tim Boggs, considered one of the most qualified reps around.
Upon the merger, AOL TW tapped entertainment lawyer George Vradenburg exec veep for strategic and global policy. Vradenburg, however, drew criticism for being aloof.
In June, AOL Time Warner abruptly announced that Kimmitt would be taking Vradenburg’s job. A well-connected Republican, Kimmitt is close to Vice President Cheney and also knows President Bush.
While the search continued for someone to fill Brophy’s position, AOL TW exec Jill Lessor oversaw domestic lobbying. Lessor will now work part-time.