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MPAA's Chris Dodd Earns $2.4 Million Salary

Chris Dodd
Matt Petit/©AMPAS
Chris Dodd

The movie association's lobbying arm has cut its staff, but tax records show revenue, salaries and other expenses are growing.

Chris Dodd makes $2.4 million as chairman and CEO of the MPAA.

The revelation comes from the trade group's 2011 tax returns, which were just made public, and Dodd's salary is more than what had been reported. When the former U.S. senator was hired to head the MPAA in 2011, his salary was pegged at $1.5 million but not attributed to any source.

According to the tax filing, first reported by TorrentFreak, the MPAA's revenue is growing.

The movie industry's main trade association earned $60.8 million, mainly from membership fees but also from program services and investment income, a 22.6 percent bump from the previous year, when revenue sat at $49.6 million.

All of that money, plus more, was spent.

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About $20.6 million went to salaries at the MPAA. Besides Dodd, the MPAA pays former chief and now special adviser Robert Pisano $1.3 million, senior vp Michael O'Leary $530,000, chief financial officer David England $400,000 and chief policy officer Gregory Frazier $447,000. The number of employees was cut from 247 to 205 despite an increase in overall compensation.

As for the rest of the expenditures, the MPAA pays a lot for lawyers -- about $10 million.

Jenner Block gained the most MPAA money in 2011 with $4.4 million, the Australian firm of Gilbert Tobin took $2.2 million, and Mitchell Silberberg was paid nearly $1.8 million

The association has a healthy lobbying budget of $4.7 million. OpenSecrets says the MPAA spent more than $93,000 in campaign contributions during the 2012 election cycle. The release of the tax filing details other political expenditures, including $150,000 to the Democratic Governors Association, $150,000 to the Republican Governors Association, $75,000 to the Republican State Leadership Committee and more. The MPAA also has donated money to Copyright Alliance, the Chamber of Commerce and the Americans for Tax Reform.

Overall, in the latest tax filing, the MPAA also says that it has $133 million in assets and $118 million in liabilities for a net base of $15 million.

The MPAA is required to file public tax records because it is exempt from income tax as a not-for-profit.

Twitter: @eriqgardner