New York, NY, January 13, 2015: Today, the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) announced that Elizabeth Matthews has been named the new Chief Executive Officer of the organization, which represents more than 600,000 music creators. Matthews, who has 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. Matthews replaces former ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento, who retired on December 31st after 33 years of service to ASCAP, including 17 years as CEO. Matthews begins her tenure at the helm of ASCAP immediately.
“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,” said ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams, an award-winning songwriter. “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.”
“Since joining ASCAP’s executive team, Beth Matthews has been a tireless advocate for our members and a catalyst for the entire organization,” said John LoFrumento, who has served as ASCAP’s CEO since 1997. “Working alongside Beth these past two years, there is no doubt in my mind that she has both the know-how and vision to lead ASCAP in a dynamic music landscape.”
As ASCAP’s Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Matthews played an important role in planning the organization’s future. She led development of a six-year transformative strategic plan that anticipates the future competitive landscape and changing needs of ASCAP members and customers. Matthews was a key internal leader on modernizing ASCAP’s licensing systems and pushing for reform of ASCAP’s consent decree. She also spearheaded the organization’s support for introducing the Songwriter Equity Act in Congress.
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.
“ASCAP is an expansive, forward-looking and adaptive service organization that successfully built and grew the market for performance rights for songwriters and publishers in the United States,” said Matthews. “As CEO, I am excited about building on our unique assets to offer new, innovative services to our members and licensing partners. As new media platforms transform how we listen to music, it is critical that we evolve our own business models and update outdated music licensing laws to better reflect the reality of today’s music marketplace. I am honored to work on behalf of the world’s greatest music creators who call ASCAP home.”
Read Matthews’ full bio.
Read Mathews' message to ASCAP staff.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world's best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business - from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With 600,000 members representing more than 10 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. www.ascap.com
Lauren Iossa, ASCAP
SVP/CMO, Marketing & Communications
liossa (at) ascap.com
Cathy Nevins, ASCAP
Senior Director of Public Relations
cnevins (at) ascap.com