She is a familiar name to broadcasters, but now Susan Davenport Austin is taking on a high-visibility post that will likely introduce her to a wider swath of the music and media (old and new) industries. She has been elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, held Tuesday (10/18) in Nashville.
Austin is both the first woman and the first African-American elected to serve as Chairman of the BMI Board. She has been a BMI Director since 2007.
Austin currently serves as a director and as Senior Vice President and CFO of Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) and President of the Sheridan Gospel Network. Her family founded Sheridan in 1972. Sheridan is the majority owner and manager of American Urban Radio Networks (AURN).
Prior to joining SBC, Austin spent 10 years in investment banking, specializing in telecommunications and media finance. She served as a vice president in the Communications, Media and Entertainment group at Goldman, Sachs & Co. She also worked for Bear, Stearns & Co. and Salomon Brothers.
Reelected as members of the BMI Board along with Austin were Craig Dubow, former Chairman and CEO of Gannett: Paul Karpowicz, President, Meredith Broadcasting Group; Virginia Hubbard Morris, Chair, Hubbard Radio and Vice President, Hubbard Broadcasting; and G. Neil Smith, President, GNS Media. All will serve terms that will expire in 2015.
Continuing in their terms on the Board of Directors along with Sander are: Del R. Bryant, President & CEO, BMI; Amador Bustos, President, Bustos Media Holdings; N. John Douglas, Chairman and CEO, AIM Broadcasting; Kenneth J. Elkins, (Retired) President & CEO, Pulitzer Broadcasting and Senior Vice President, Broadcasting, Pulitzer Publishing Co.; Michael J. Fiorile, Vice Chairman and CEO, Dispatch Broadcast Group; Catherine L. Hughes, Founder and Chairperson, Radio One; Philip A. Jones, Mission Hills, KS; Jerome L. Kersting, Chicago, IL; Mark P. Mays, Chairman Clear Channel Communications; Mark Pedowitz, President, The CW Network; and Cecil Walker, (Retired) Chairman and CEO, Gannett Broadcasting.
Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) is an American performing rights organization that represents more than 500,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music and more than 7.5 million musical works.