Bertelsmann taps lobbyist

Lilley to head up newly created D.C. office

Bertelsmann’s U.S. division has tapped a former top congressional lawyer and News Corp. exec to head up its newly created Washington D.C. office and lobby for the company’s various interests in the government.

Justin Lilley, who spent nine years as a staffer and later counsel to the House Commerce Committee, will be senior VP of government relations for the German media conglom’s American unit, headed up by former government antitrust guru Joel Klein.

Lilley, who will report directly to Klein, will be Bertelsmann’s liaison to Congress and the executive branch, as well as agencies that regulate the media industry, including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

Move is part of a major push by Bertelsmann to expand its presence Stateside; the world’s third-largest media concern currently does only 40% of its business in the U.S. Company properties include music label BMG, book publisher Random House, magazine group Gruner + Jahr and TV unit RTL.

Prior to joining Bertelsmann, Lilley spent a year in News Corp.’s D.C. office as VP of government relations. The attorney also worked on the Bush-Cheney transition team earlier this year, advising the incoming administration on media and telecommunications issues.