News Release
News Release
News Release
News Release
May 12, 2005
Dennis Wharton

Frances W. Preston to Receive NABEF Guardian Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Frances W. Preston, retired president and CEO of Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), will receive the Guardian Award from the NAB Education Foundation (NABEF) at the seventh annual Service to America Summit on June 13, 2005 in Washington, DC. This year's Service to America Guardian Award honors an individual or organization demonstrating commitment to creating an environment that protects the creative community.

"Frances Preston has truly established herself as a 'guardian angel' for the creative community, fighting for decades to ensure that songwriters, composers and music publishers worldwide are adequately compensated for their efforts," said NAB President and CEO Edward O. Fritts.

After joining BMI in 1958 and opening a regional office in Nashville, Preston quickly led the organization to a position of preeminence in the area. She was named BMI vice president in 1964, and, under her leadership, the southern operation grew from a staff of two to more than 400. She was appointed senior vice president, performing rights, in 1985 and president and CEO in 1986. During her tenure, BMI's revenue grew more than three times to over $673 million.

A well-known figure on Capitol Hill, who has frequently testified in support of creators' rights, Preston played a key role in extending copyright protection to older compositions through the Copyright Amendments Act of 1992. She was also instrumental in getting the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act passed in 1998, extending the copyright term to life of the composer plus 70 years.

Although she retired from her position as president and CEO of BMI in 2004, Preston remains a dynamic force in the music community. She will continue to vigorously support the fight for legislation to assure fair compensation to BMI's more than 300,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. She will also represent BMI in its relationships with the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC).

Preston devotes much of her time as the non-salaried president of the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research. In 1992, she received the charity's Humanitarian Award. Her involvement led to the creation of the Frances Williams Preston Research Laboratories at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville.

The Service to America Summit is sponsored and produced by the NABEF with major support from Bonneville International Corporation and the National Association of Broadcasters. In recent years, the summit has recognized former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalyn Carter, First Lady Laura Bush, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, boxing legend Muhammad Ali and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for their contributions and service to communities nationwide.

Founded in 1964, Bonneville operates 20 radio stations in the Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, and Salt Lake City markets, as well as KSL-TV in Salt Lake City. Bonneville's motto is "do good, do well, make a difference, and have fun." In addition to competing aggressively in major market broadcasting, Bonneville has a tradition of commitment to community.

The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the public interest in supporting and advocating: education and training programs, strategies to increase diversity, initiatives stressing the importance of the First Amendment, community service, philanthropy, and other timely broadcasting issues.

The National Association of Broadcasters is a full-service trade association that promotes and protects free, over-the-air local radio and television stations' interests in Washington and around the world. NAB is the broadcaster's voice before Congress, federal agencies and the courts. NAB also serves a growing number of associate and international broadcaster members. Information about NAB can be found at