The RIAA has hired a senior counsel in the office of Senate minority leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., as part of its lobbying team.
Michele Ballantyne will take the position of senior VP, federal government and industry relations. She will start work at the Washington, D.C.-based RIAA in June.
In Daschle’s office, Ballantyne coordinated legislative strategy and managed caucus initatives for Senate Democrats. Prior to her work on Capitol Hill, she was special assistant to President Clinton and special counselor to Clinton White House chief of staff John Podesta from 1999 to 2001.
At the RIAA, she will replace David Sutphen, who recently left the organization for a position with Viacom.
Los Angeles-based law firm Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro has named Gary Sommerstein as a partner and head of the entertainment law practice group. Sommerstein joined Christensen Miller in 2000 and works with a range of clients, including MGM Television, Morgan Creek Prods, KirchMedia, syndicated talk show host Larry Elder, producer Arthur Cohn and the Hallmark Channel.
Bill Holland and Chris Gardner (Hollywood Reporter)