3:30am PT by Tim Appelo, Ed Christman, Billboard
Elizabeth Matthews Named ASCAP CEO
Elizabeth Matthews has been tapped as the new CEO for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) replacing John LoFrumento, who retired on Dec. 31.
Matthews, who joined ASCAP as executive VP & general counsel in 2013, previously held that position at Viacom Media Networks since 1998. Since joining ASCAP, she led the development of a six-year transformative strategic plan that anticipates the future competitive landscape and changing needs of ASCAP members and customers.
"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,” Matthews said in a statement. “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new media platforms transform how we listen to music, it is critical that we evolve our own business models and update outdated music licensing laws to better reflect the reality of today’s music marketplace."
She takes the helm at a crucial time as the organization will likely be dramatically reformed regardless of which way the Dept. of Justice proceeds on an industry push to change the consent decree that govern how ASCAP operates. That review is expected to culminate in a DOJ decision probably during the second quarter of this year.
“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,” ASCAP president and chairman Paul Williams said in a statement. “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.”
Prior to her time at Viacom, Matthews worked in intellectual property and corporate groups for Chadbourne & Parke and the business technology group for Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.