Broadcast Music, Inc. today announced that the BMI Board of Directors has unanimously elected Michael O’Neill as Chief Executive Officer effective September 16, 2013. O’Neill will also become a member of the Board. O’Neill succeeds BMI’s current President and CEO, Del Bryant, who announced his desire to step down earlier this year after almost 42 years of continuous service to the company. O’Neill will assume the title of President upon Bryant’s retirement in June 2014.
“After a thorough and deliberate selection process, the Board of Directors is delighted that Michael will lead BMI as we navigate through the evolving and expanding landscape of music rights,” said Susan Davenport Austin, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Michael has a thorough understanding of the needs of our songwriters, our publishers and of our licensees who utilize the BMI repertoire. I have no doubt that he is the right person to take the helm at BMI as BMI enters its 75th year.”
“Whether listening to a cut or cutting a deal, Mike brings an A+ game comprised of affability, experience, innovation, and the desire to do what’s right for all our constituents,” said Bryant. “I have always believed in him so it was no surprise that a world-wide search confirmed his talents. I am so happy for him, his family, and for BMI. I look forward to working with him in this new capacity over the next year on behalf of the company I love.”
O’Neill has served BMI for nearly 20 years, most recently as Senior Vice President Repertoire & Licensing, where he oversaw all aspects of BMI’s writer, composer and publisher relations, domestic licensing and revenue generation including radio, television, cable, satellite and the General Licensing division, and managed royalty distributions and administrative services groups.
“I am honored that the BMI Board of Directors chose me to follow in the footsteps of two truly iconic CEOs who have led BMI for the past 28 years – Frances Preston and Del Bryant,” said O’Neill. “I am also thrilled that I will have the ability to rely on Del’s counsel over the coming year as he is an exceptional executive, leader, role model and friend.”
O’Neill led BMI’s licensing negotiations, developed new licenses and sales policies, spearheaded a new customer relations campaign, and played a key role in contributing to BMI’s explosive revenue growth over the past 20 years. He was instrumental in launching new royalty distributions, including developing the groundbreaking BMI Live program which pays performing songwriters for live performances in small venues and bars. He has also overseen the exponential growth in signing up more than 40,000 new affiliated songwriters, composers and publishers each year over the past four years.
O’Neill joined BMI in 1995 as Director, Group and National Accounts from CBS-TV Network, where he was Director, CBS Affiliate Relations. Within two years, he was appointed Assistant Vice President, Media Licensing and two years later, Vice President, Sales and Administration, Media Licensing. In 2006, he was appointed Senior Vice President Licensing and in 2010, Senior Vice President Repertoire and Licensing.
He holds an MBA from Rutgers University in Marketing and Finance and received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Montclair University.