Songwriter Paul Williams Elected President, Chairman of ASCAP

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Paul Williams was elected president and chairman of the board of ASCAP.

Songwriter Paul Williams (pictured) was elected president and chairman of the board of ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) by the ASCAP Board of Directors at its meeting in Nashville. Williams' election follows on the heels of songwriter Marilyn Bergman's decision to step down from the ASCAP presidency, although she will continue as an active board member.

Bergman announced her plans on April 8, 2009, after 15 distinguished years as president and chairman of the board (see "Marilyn Bergman to Step Down As President and Chairman of ASCAP After 15 Years.")
Songwriter Jimmy Webb was elected writer vice chairman to replace Williams, who held that post for the prior two years. On the publisher side, the re-elected officers are Irwin Robinson of Paramount Allegra Music as vice chairman; Kathy Spanberger of peermusic as secretary; and James M. Kendrick of Schott Music Corporation/European American Music Corporation as treasurer.

Commenting on the Board's choice for her successor, Bergman says, "I have worked closely with Paul during his eight years as a member of the ASCAP Board of Directors, and particularly since he assumed the post of writer vice chairman. He is an outstanding choice to lead the vital work that ASCAP conducts on behalf of all of us who create music. In addition to his tremendous talent as a songwriter, Paul has deep knowledge of both the challenges and opportunities that face music creators in today's environment. I have no doubt that he will be a powerful and vigorous advocate for our needs and rights. And I'm very pleased that illustrious songwriter and performer Jimmy Webb will be serving as writer vice chair."

"It's a great honor and privilege to be elected president and chairman of the board of ASCAP," Williams says. "On behalf of my fellow board members, I would like to thank Marilyn for her extraordinarily productive work and the dedication she has shown over the last 15 years. The ability to make a viable living from creating music is of critical importance not just to songwriters and composers, but also to our society as a whole. Recent advances in areas like technology have opened many new doors for music creators. But we also face a host of daunting challenges relative to how the act of creating music is both fairly valued and compensated. ASCAP must remain a strong voice for our creative community, and I plan to do all I can to ensure this is the case."

For more information, visit www.ascap.com.