Dark horse selected as RIAA’s new chairman, beginning 9/1:
- Mitch Bainwol, 44, former chief of staff for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), will become chairman of the Recording Industry Association of America on Sept. 1. He succeeds Hilary Rosen, who left the job in June after six difficult years during which the industry saw the rise of Napster and other Internet song-sharing services.
Bainwol is likely to face what Rosen received: criticism from the record labels that she was not doing enough to stem Internet song piracy as well as attacks from consumer groups and customers who said the RIAA’s campaign against piracy has been too heavy-handed.
But Bainwol will be well compensated for his troubles, earning a salary roughly the same as Rosen’s — around $1 million per year, industry sources said.
Bainwol joins the RIAA from his consulting firm, the Bainwol Group. Before that, he had a short stint as chief of staff for Frist, who also chose Bainwol as executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign, which raises money to elect GOP senators, when Frist headed the group. Bainwol, a native Floridian, joined the NRSC in 2000 from a run as a senior aide to Sen. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) after Mack retired from Congress. Bainwol also served as chief of staff for the Republican National Committee, among other positions.
Bainwol, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, was not in the first round of candidates interviewed by executive search firm Korn/Ferry International, but he emerged as the unanimous choice of the record labels from the second round of candidates, said Dave Johnson, general counsel for Warner Bros. music, which is owned by AOL Time Warner Inc. [Washington Post]
Interesting that they went with a Republican – also interesting that his name sounds like a Lord of the Rings character. Hmm.