Inside Move: RIAA prexy post wide open

Plenty of candidates waiting in org's lobby

WASHINGTON — The search for Hilary Rosen’s replacement atop the RIAA has Washington buzzing about who is in the running as time runs out before her June 30 departure. The RIAA is being tight-lipped about the process, but that hasn’t stopped a circus of speculation.

One thing’s certain: Rosen will stay on as a consultant, and her deputy, Cary Sherman, will assume the role of acting president if the selection process drags into July.

Last month Daily Variety reported that Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clarke was a top Rosen choice. Insiders now say that Clarke has decided not to make the leap — although some close to the music industry say hope springs eternal that Clarke will reconsider.

With Republicans running the show in Washington right now, there are plenty of industry lobbyists pitching a GOP slate of women candidates that have either hit the glass ceiling in Congress or have grown tired of playing the male-dominated game. That list includes media darling and former Rep. Susan Molinari (N.Y.), as well as Reps. Mary Bono (Calif.) and Jennifer Dunn (Wash.). Other insiders argued that the field has yet to narrow and all the names circulating publicly now are unlikely prospects.

In the last week, speculation again swirled around Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), the chairman of the House Commerce Committee, spurred by the departure of his staff director, Dave Marventano, who recently left for the private sector. Tauzin has been mentioned for everything from the RIAA job to the MPAA and the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Assn.

Tauzin spokesman Ken Johnson is just plain tired of the rumors and squashed any thought that his boss is eyeing the RIAA position or has any plans to leave Congress this year.

“It is absolutely not true,” Johnson said. “He hasn’t interviewed (with the RIAA). No one has talked to him. He is aggressively raising funds and expects to run for re-election next year.”

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