Frances W. Preston Dies at 83
B&C Hall of Famer served as BMI president and CEO from 1986 until 2004
By Lindsay Rubino -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/13/2012 1:08:29 PM
Preston, who served as president and CEO of the music licensing company from 1986 until 2004, first joined BMI in 1958 commanded with the task of opening a Southern regional office in Nashville. She was later appointed vice president in 1964 and promoted to senior VP of performing rights in 1985.
Shortly thereafter she was named president and CEO of the company, where BMI saw revenues triple under her leadership. She continued to consult on the company's international relationships and public policy agenda after her retirement.
Preston also served as a member of the Panama Canal Study Committee and on the commission for the White House Record Library during President Jimmy Carter's administration, and served as member of Vice President Al Gore's National Information Infrastructures Advisory Council in 1995 and 1996.
Preston, a member of Broadcasting & Cable's Hall of Fame, has also been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Gospel Music Hall of Fame. She was also a recipient of the National Trustees Award from the Recording Academy and the National Association of Broadcasters' Education Foundation Guardian Award. In 2011, the Library of American Broadcasting Association named Preston as one of its Giants of Broadcasting and in the same year, BMI renamed the BMI Country Song of the Year award the BMI Frances W. Preston Award.
"Frances Preston was a great friend to the broadcast community during her nearly two decades as president and CEO of BMI," said NAB Joint Board chairman Paul Karpowicz in a statement. "She was a person of substance, grace and humanity, and her unwavering support for songwriters will be her legacy. We join our music industry friends in mourning the loss of this truly one-of-a-kind woman."
Preston is survived by her three sons, Kirk, David, and Donald, and six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
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