Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

Jack Valenti retiring as president of the MPAA

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

Jack Valenti retiring as president of the MPAA

Old 07-02-04, 10:22 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 4,030
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jack Valenti retiring as president of the MPAA

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/02/bu...l?pagewanted=1

New Studio Chief Takes Over
By SHARON WAXMAN

Published: July 2, 2004

LOS ANGELES, July 1 - The last time the movie industry named a chief for its major trade group, nearly four decades ago, it picked a career political operative with far-reaching ties in Washington but very few connections to filmmaking. Yesterday, the group followed a similar script.

To succeed Jack Valenti, 82, once an aide to President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Motion Picture Association of America has chosen Dan Glickman, a former agriculture secretary under President Bill Clinton and a Democratic congressman from Kansas, as its new chairman.

Mr. Glickman, 59, plans to resign his current position running the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard to take over the association in September, ending a search of more than two years. Mr. Glickman is considered an unknown quantity in Hollywood, where he will be charged with forging a consensus among the seven studios that make up the association and tackling thorny issues like Internet piracy and international counterfeiting of movie DVD's.

But he is well known in Washington, where he served in Congress for 18 years before joining the Clinton administration, and has extensive ties among both Republicans and Democrats. In announcing the appointment at a Washington news conference, Mr. Valenti - whom the studio heads largely deferred to in the choice of Mr. Glickman - praised him profusely and said that Mr. Glickman's detailed knowledge of Congress and experience negotiating international trade issues helped win him the job.

"As secretary of agriculture he led delegations all over the world," Mr. Valenti said in a telephone interview. "Those two areas were indispensable, his knowledge of Congress and understanding of international negotiations."

Mr. Glickman acknowledged that he would have to move quickly to fill gaps in his knowledge of Hollywood, and would spend the next two months doing that.

"It's certainly a very complicated job," he said in an interview. "You're dealing in so many different venues: Capitol Hill, the international business arena, the international government arena. There are lots of constituencies, lots of players. It's going to take me a while to learn all of that."

But, he added, the job is not dissimilar to the sorts of compromises he had to forge when working in the Agriculture Department, with different constituencies across the country. "I happen to believe the key in this job, to do it well, is to be well versed on the issues, but also to be a good diplomat and a consensus builder," he said, adding that he would make a "special effort" to reach out to Republican members of Congress, "most of whom I know."

The challenge for Mr. Glickman will be to redefine the movie association in an era when the studios are divisions of much larger corporations like General Electric, Time Warner and Viacom. Those companies, which compete in many domains, find that their interests do not always coincide, and each has its own Washington lobbying operations.

Among Mr. Glickman's Republican friends are Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, who praised him in a statement on Thursday, calling him "an outstanding choice for the M.P.A.A.," who "brings a unique set of skills that will serve the motion picture industry very well."

Hilary B. Rosen, who formerly headed the Recording Industry Association of America, said Mr. Glickman was a good choice. "I'm a fan," she said. "I think he is regarded as extremely smart, who both sides will work with. He's affable, but don't mistake that for an inability to be tough."

Other candidates for the job included Victoria Clarke, the former Pentagon spokeswoman who is now a consultant for Comcast; Pat Mitchell, a former television producer who is now president of the Public Broadcasting Service; and the San Diego school superintendent, Alan D. Bersin.

The job search dragged on, some industry executives said, because there were few candidates who were deemed qualified and who were interested in the daunting task of confronting movie piracy while succeeding the popular Mr. Valenti. These people said they assumed that Mr. Glickman would be paid more than Mr. Valenti's $1.35 million salary.

As recently as a few weeks ago, it seemed that the studio chiefs were having trouble being convinced by a single candidate. The heads of some studios said they did not know much about Mr. Glickman, who cuts an unassuming figure, but they noted that he would have big shoes to fill in succeeding the gregarious Mr. Valenti.

"It was tough casting," said Alan Horn, the president of Warner Brothers Entertainment, who said he had not yet met Mr. Glickman. "The difficulty we all experienced in replacing Jack is a testament to how beautifully Jack handled his responsibilities, what an icon he is in our business. But we're confident that Dan will do a wonderful job."

Michael Lynton, chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said Mr. Glickman was "highly intelligent."

"He's extremely balanced in his views," Mr. Lynton said. "I'm very happy. I think he's great."

Mr. Glickman's wife, Rhoda, is active in Washington cultural circles and is a member of the community advisory board to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Mr. Glickman does have one Hollywood connection, his son Jonathan Glickman, who is a producer of movies, among them "Rush Hour."

Mr. Valenti pointed out that he, too, had known very little about Hollywood when he took the job in 1966, having served as a White House assistant to President Johnson. "When I took this job," he said, "I didn't know the Screen Actors Guild, the directors guild. I knew the top people, but I spent huge chunks of time trying to find a rapport with creative community in Hollywood, and all over the world."

In his 38 years heading the association, Mr. Valenti, a former adman from Texas, came to personify the organization. He created the current voluntary movie ratings system in 1968, replacing the censorious Hays Code, and traveled around the world to promote Hollywood's agenda.

Throughout the 1980's and well into the 90's, Mr. Valenti helped protect the Federal Communications Commission's so-called "fin-syn" regulations that gave Hollywood complete control over the rerun market for former hit network television shows. Under the rules, television networks could share only minimally in profits from non-prime-time syndication of series, a market that created millions of dollars in additional profit for the motion picture association's members. It was not until 1995 that the F.C.C. ended those restrictions.

Not everyone in Hollywood was expressing nostalgia for Mr. Valenti on Thursday, particularly art-house movie executives who were stung by the association's ban last fall on sending DVD's and videocassette tapes to voters on the Oscars.

The trade group's chief "can't get any worse, it can only get better," said Tom Bernard, co-president of Sony Pictures Classics, an art-house division of Sony Pictures Entertainment. "The guy was so old and past his time. They really haven't revamped the M.P.A.A. ratings system for years. It's almost medieval the way they evaluate the movies."

Mr. Bernard also said that the industry had not adequately addressed technological solutions for stopping movie piracy. "The fight right now is not about the technology existing," he said. "It's who's going to own the technology, and who will sell it. If the guy at the M.P.A.A. can help sort that out, that's going to be the big plus. Let's face it - Valenti - technology's not his expertise."

Mr. Valenti said he would continue to supervise the movie ratings system for the next nine months, until Mr. Glickman had become accustomed to the demands of his new job. After that, Mr. Valenti said he planned to work for a nonprofit organization that fights malaria and AIDS in Africa, and to provide political and cultural commentary for the CNN cable network.

Michael Janofsky, in Washington, contributed reporting for this article.
Old 07-02-04, 10:27 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Giantrobo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: South Bay
Posts: 57,585
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
Bye bye Mr. Funny collar.
Old 07-02-04, 12:09 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: City of the lakers.. riots.. and drug dealing cops.. los(t) Angel(e)s. ca.
Posts: 54,199
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ding dong the witch is dead.
Old 07-02-04, 04:37 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Hero
 
PopcornTreeCt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 25,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Welcome to 6 months ago.
Old 07-02-04, 07:19 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
mike45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Earth
Posts: 2,309
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Finally.
Old 07-02-04, 07:42 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Legend
 
cultshock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: True North Strong & Free
Posts: 12,607
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
The trade group's chief "can't get any worse, it can only get better," said Tom Bernard, co-president of Sony Pictures Classics, an art-house division of Sony Pictures Entertainment. "The guy was so old and past his time. They really haven't revamped the M.P.A.A. ratings system for years. It's almost medieval the way they evaluate the movies."
Old 07-02-04, 08:34 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 3,015
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sweet! Time to fire up file sharing software! It's time to download some copywritten materials!
Old 07-02-04, 10:17 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: A little bit here and a little bit there.
Posts: 2,644
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
he won't be missed.
Old 07-05-04, 11:29 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 922
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How will he deal with copyright, for crissakes? I mean, when it comes to agriculture, all they know is patents (like Monsanto's genetically-modified corn...) and there's no equivalent of anyone downloading a bushel of wheat from a Chinese server... I fear his lack of experience in the field of media culture, added with his political ties, will only mean the guy will be just as bad, if not worse, than that crappy Valenti.
Old 07-06-04, 12:35 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NYC
Posts: 17,018
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by Playitagainsam
How will he deal with copyright, for crissakes? I mean, when it comes to agriculture, all they know is patents (like Monsanto's genetically-modified corn...) and there's no equivalent of anyone downloading a bushel of wheat from a Chinese server... I fear his lack of experience in the field of media culture, added with his political ties, will only mean the guy will be just as bad, if not worse, than that crappy Valenti.
Not to defend him (because I don't care), but even though he came from Kansas, he came from Wichita, which is the largest city in the state. When he went to Congress he had no knowledge of farming, either, but he sat on the House Agriculture Committee and eventually became Secretary of Agriculture.
Old 07-06-04, 12:55 AM
  #11  
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 75
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Man, I hope this leads to a complete revamping of the ratings system, which is now completely ridiculous.
It's time Jack retired.
Old 07-06-04, 02:18 AM
  #12  
Cool New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 42
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hoo-ray!! Let's also hope he's no longer afforded those annual appearances on the Academy Awards telecast!
Old 07-06-04, 01:06 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NYC
Posts: 17,018
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by chriscooling
Man, I hope this leads to a complete revamping of the ratings system, which is now completely ridiculous.
I think that would probably be reasonable to expect.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.