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Help Wanted: MPAA Chief

In retrospect the news that the Motion Picture Assn. of America is moving on in its search for a new chief is not surprising. It has been months, not weeks, since word that Bob Kerrey was talking with the lobbying org, and at a certain point studio chiefs got impatient until things came to a head on Wednesday. The official parting of the ways came on Thursday morning.

It’s at least a momentary blow to the hopes that the org would find a “star politico” to fill the position, and Kerrey in many respects fit the bill: a former governor and senator and former presidential candidate, with a reputation as an independent thinker who could straddle partisan lines. The problem: Time. The studios wanted someone engaged in D.C. 24/7, a transition to the nitty gritty of lobbying that apparently Kerrey wasn’t willing to make.

The studios now face restarting the search, and the question: Do they want to pursue another star, or someone who’ll dive right in to the job?

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