Former BMI president and CEO Frances W. Preston died at her
home in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday from congestive heart failure.
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
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
"Frances Preston was a great friend to the broadcast
community during her nearly two decades as president and CEO of BMI,"
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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