Frances Williams Preston made history as the President & CEO of BMI, and on Friday, October 14, her contributions were celebrated by the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation. Named one of the foundation’s Giants of Broadcasting, Preston joined 2011 honorees Christiane Amanpour; Rick Buckley; CBS Sunday Morning’s team comprising Charles Kuralt, Rand Morrison, Robert “Shad” Northshield, and Charles Osgood; John F. Dille, III; Brian Lamb; Dawson B “Tack” Nail; Frederick S. Pierce; and Brian Williams.
“I am flattered to be included in this year’s list of honorees,” Preston said. “You are all my heroes—truly ‘giants of broadcasting.’”
Preston was selected to open BMI’s Music City outpost in 1958, when she joined the company. The Nashville native was a new breed of executive, helping to shepherd and define the golden era of the music industry. As BMI’s New York-based president & CEO from 1986 until 2004, she oversaw the company’s unprecedented growth and ingenuity. Preston was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992.
“I have had the rare privilege to work with visionary broadcasters who deeply understood the importance of the songwriter and composer in enriching the lives of millions of Americans,” Preston reflected. “I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve with all of you, and I thank you for this honor today.”