The CEO of Lincoln Financial Media to receive the Media Financial Management Association’s highest honor at Media Finance Focus 2015, May 18-20 in Phoenix.
Don Benson, president-CEO of Lincoln Financial Media, will receive the Media Financial Management Association’s Avatar Award, its highest honor, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the communications industry and exemplary role in community service.
The award will be presented to at Media Finance Focus 2015, the 55th annual conference for MFM and its BCCA subsidiary. Themed “Blazing a New Frontier,” the conference will be held at The Arizona Grand Hotel & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona, May 18 -20.
Benson will receive his award on Monday morning, May 18.
“While Avatar Award nominees are considered annually, there have been a number of years since 1983 in which no honoree has been named,” said Mary M. Collins, president-CEO of MFM and BCCA. “I know that anyone who knows or knows of Don Benson will agree his career is distinguished by the type of leadership and commitment to community service that make him one of the media industry’s true Avatars.”
The Avatar Award was first presented in 1983; past recipients have included Cox chairman, Clifford Kirkland; Turner CEO, R.E. Ted Turner; Tribune Broadcasting president & CEO, Jim Dowdle; Hubbard Broadcasting president & CEO, Stanley Hubbard; UPN Television president & CEO, Lucie Salhaney; Former FCC Commissioner, James Quello; award-winning journalist and humanitarian Deborah Norville; TV One president & CEO Jonathan Rodgers; David Kennedy, president & CEO of Susquehanna Radio, Kenneth W. Lowe, president & CEO of The E.W. Scripps Company, and AMC Networks’ president and CEO Joshua Sapan.
As president-CEO of Lincoln Financial Media, Benson has overall responsibility for the company’s operations of 15 radio stations in Atlanta, Miami, San Diego and Denver. In December 2104, LFMC agreed to be acquired by Entercom Communications in a transaction that is expected to close by the second quarter of this year.
Benson, who has served as president-CEO of LFMC since 2008, joined the company in 2006 when it merged with Jefferson-Pilot. He spent more than 20 years with Jefferson Pilot, including serving as senior vice president of operations/programming for Jefferson Pilot’s Radio Division for 10 years and as president of the Jefferson Pilot Radio from 2005 until its merger with LFMC.
Benson began his radio career at WMAK Nashville before joining Jefferson Pilot in 1974 as a programming assistant at WQXI-AM-FM in Atlanta, where he later became the station’s operations manager. Benson also has served as vice president of operations of KIIS-FM in Los Angeles and as corporate vice president of programming for Western Cities Broadcasting’s seven-station group. In addition, he served as an executive vice president of operations for Burkhart/Douglas & Associates, an Atlanta-based consulting firm.
He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University.