ASCAP announced today that Elizabeth Matthews has been named their new CEO. Matthews, who served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel at ASCAP since 2013, was a unanimous choice among the Board’s 12 writer and 12 publisher members. She replaces John LoFrumento who retired December 31st and worked with ASCAP for 33 years with 17 years as CEO.
ASCAP President, Chairman (and writer of “The Rainbow Connection”), Paul Williams stated:
“Now, more than ever, songwriters and composers need an advocate we can trust to ensure our work is valued fairly in a rapidly changing music marketplace. What we do is vital to the future of music. Beth’s experience in the global multimedia content sector, her deep understanding of the complexities of the music business and her passion for protecting the rights of music creators make her singularly qualified for the CEO role. Her enthusiasm for taking on the new challenges of the digital era is unparalleled.”
As Vice President, Matthews spearheaded ASCAP’s support for introducing the Songwriter Equity Act in Congress last year.
Prior to ASCAP, Matthews served as Executive Vice President & Deputy General Counsel at Viacom Media Networks (formerly MTV Networks) since 1998. There she guided her Business and Legal Affairs teams through the early days of the shift to digital. Previously, Matthews worked in the Intellectual Property and Corporate Groups for Chadbourne & Parke and the Business Technology Group for Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.
In a message to ASCAP members posted on the ASCAP blog today she states:
“In the coming months, we will embark upon several new initiatives to turn ASCAP into an even more flexible, adaptive licensing and service organization that anticipates the needs of our constituents and provides them with best-in-class, innovative new tools and services. We have the most treasured and valuable repertory of musical compositions in the world. We will demonstrate to our publisher, songwriter, lyricist and composer members that we are the best at optimizing the value of their musical works at the lowest cost. We will show our licensees that we value them as partners and we understand the challenges of their business because their success is our success. And, we will explore ways in which we can create more value for everyone in the music licensing marketplace through collective licensing.”
ASCAP is the 2nd largest US based Performing Rights Organization with over 520,000 composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. Members include Duke Ellington, Katy Perry, George Gershwin, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Dave Matthews, Leonard Bernstein, Dan Wilson, Beyoncé, Marc Anthony, Alan Jackson, Henry Mancini, Hans Zimmer and recent Golden Globe award winner Jóhann Jóhannsson (for Theory of Everything score). ASCAP has paid out $5 billion to its members in the past 6 years.