Hard Times on K Street

You know the recession is bad when K Street, the center of Washington’s lobbying powerhouse, starts shedding jobs.

Now two of the entertainment industry’s biggest trade associations — the Recording Industry Assn. of America and the Motion Picture Assn. of American — are shrinking. Facing budget and staff cuts, the RIAA just let go about one-third of its 75-member staff around the country, and the MPAA cut about 20 percent of its jobs in Los Angeles and Washington.

“Like so many other businesses and organizations in this economy, the difficult times required us to find a way to fulfill our mission with fewer employees,” said RIAA spokeswoman Cara Duckworth. With piracy threatening the music business and now a recession driving budgets even lower, she added, “We’ll continue our work to defend our rights, to expand the marketplace and to achieve parity across platforms."

The MPAA’s Dan Glickman, whose contract has just been renewed, struck a similar chord. "What we are going through is what virtually every trade association in Washington is going through right now," he said. "Our goal is to maintain our mission, and to do it effectively. We have got to do more with less, and that is what we are going to do."