Susan Davenport Austin elected chairman of Broadcast Music, Inc.

10/19/2011, 11:59 p.m.
Susan Davenport Austin elected chairman of Broadcast Music, Inc.

Susan Davenport Austin, most recently vice chair of the Board of Directors of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), was elected chairman of the Board of Directors at the company's annual shareholder meeting on Oct. 18 in Nashville, Tenn. She succeeds Jack Sander, formerly vice chairman of the Belo Corporation in Dallas, who was elected presiding director at the meeting.

Austin, named by Radio Ink magazine as one of the most influential women in radio and one of the most influential African-Americans in radio, joined the BMI board in 2007. She is both the first woman and the first African-American elected to serve as chairman of the BMI board.

A distinguished and highly respected media executive, Austin serves as director, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation and as president of the Sheridan Gospel Network, which her family founded in 1972. Sheridan is the majority owner and manager of American Urban Radio Networks, the No. 1-ranked radio network reaching African-Americans in the United States.

Prior to joining SBC, she spent 10 years in investment banking, specializing in telecommunications and media finance. She served as a vice president in the communications, media and entertainment group at Goldman Sachs, and has also worked for Bear Stearns and Salomon Brothers. Austin holds a BA in mathematics from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Austin currently serves on the boards of Hubbard Radio and the Prudential Variable Annuities Funds, and as president of the board of the MacDowell Colony. She has previously served on a number of boards, including those of the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation, the Stanford Business School Alumni Association (as president) and the Lower Eastside Girls Club (as chair).

BMI is an American performing rights organization that represents more than 500,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music, with more than 7.5 million musical works. BMI has represented the most popular, beloved music from around the world for more than 70 years. The company provides licenses for businesses that perform music and distributes the fees it generates as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.