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MPAA extends Chairman Chris Dodd's contract through 2018

Chris Dodd's contract as MPAA chairman and cheif executive extended through 2018

Hollywood's chief lobbyist will have at least another three years on the job.

The Motion Picture Assn. of America has extended the contract of Chairman Chris Dodd through 2018.

"He has been an impactful leader and a vigorous champion for the industry," the heads of the major studios said in a statement. "We are confident he will continue to effectively help steer our interests through a challenging media and policy landscape and represent our member companies around the globe.”

The MPAA did not disclose terms of Dodd's contract.

A former U.S. senator from Connecticut, Dodd was tapped four years ago to run the trade group in an effort to restore the luster and reputation the MPAA enjoyed under the legendary Jack Valenti.

He is credited with helping to expand Hollywood's access to China, an increasingly lucrative market for the major studios, and film tax credits in California and New York.

At the same time, Dodd has also faced growing scrutiny from board members over the rising costs and efficacy of the organization, which increasingly competes with Silicon Valley for influence in Washington.

Under Dodd, who also serves as chief executive, the MPAA has ramped up its spending on lobbying, new hires and salaries. His own compensation in 2013 was about $3.3 million, tax records show.

But the trade association was badly outmaneuvered by Google in 2012, when the Internet giant led a campaign to kill the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, known as SOPA.

The MPAA also faced a crisis earlier this year when Sony threatened to pull out of the organization over its failure to speak out sooner in support of Sony after a devastating hacking attack.

The incident touched off intense internal debates about reforming the structure of the MPAA. Studio executives also have discussed the possibility of expanding membership to include television producers and Internet streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon.

Those discussions are ongoing, people familiar with the matter said.

“I am grateful to our member companies for their continued support," Dodd said in a statement. "This is an exciting time of almost unparalleled creativity and innovation in film and television and I look forward to continuing to promote and protect that creativity, and the jobs of the men and women who go to work in this industry every day.”

Twitter: @rverrier

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