Featured News

ACL EP Terry Lickona honored with PBS Beacon Award

Today, PBS announced it has honored AUSTIN CITY LIMITS executive producer Terry Lickona with the 2024 Beacon Award for his work leading the iconic live music institution. The highest honor in public television, the Beacon award pays tribute to individuals whose work inspires Americans and enriches our nation, in keeping with the mission of PBS. 

PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger presented the award to Lickona at PBS’s Annual Meeting of Member Stations along with Catherine Robb, General Vice Chair of the PBS Board; Luis Patiño, President & Executive Officer of Austin PBS; and musician Dave Grohl.   

“Terry is a legend,” said Kerger. “He has grown Austin City Limits from a small regional showcase into the longest-running music series in television history. I am proud to present PBS’s highest award to him for the extraordinary contributions he, and ACL, has made to our country by bringing so many legendary performances to a national audience.” 

Since 1978, Lickona has been the producer/executive producer of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS. He is also co-producer of the Grammy Awards telecast on CBS, and the Latin Grammy Awards broadcast on Univision. Celebrating its 50th year on PBS, ACL gives viewers a front-row seat to the best in live performance. In 2003, AUSTIN CITY LIMITS was awarded the National Medal of Arts, and in 2012 received a rare institutional Peabody Award for excellence and outstanding achievement. The program and its original Studio 6A were designated an official Rock and Roll Landmark by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. The series presents a wide variety of musical styles and genres. Lickona has worked with artists ranging from Ray Charles and Johnny Cash to Kendrick Lamar, B.B. King, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Brandi Carlile, Foo Fighters, Rosalía, Jon Batiste, Ed Sheeran, Bonnie Raitt, Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, and countless more. 

A monument to music, ACL has showcased iconic performances from legends and innovators in every genre of popular song for a half-century. Produced by Austin PBS, the show remains a required stopping point for the finest acts to deliver stellar performances from the venerable ACL stage in Austin, Texas. On October 17, 1974, the notoriously TV-shy Willie Nelson taped the pilot episode; the trailblazing series then premiered on PBS in 1975. This renowned program has earned its place in history and will salute its golden anniversary and incredible legacy with a yearlong celebration featuring archival gems, all-star tapings, a primetime PBS special, live concerts, and much more.

PBS is proud to honor Lickona with the Beacon Award for his many cultural contributions, impact, and leadership across public media. 

The PBS Beacon Award, formerly known as the Be More Award, was established in 2004. Last year’s recipient was FRONTLINE. Other former awardees include Fred Rogers (2004), Jim Lehrer (2005), Bill Moyers (2006), Neil DeGrasse Tyson (2008), Ken Burns (2009), Joan Ganz Cooney (2010), Rebecca Eaton (2011), Gwen Ifill (2012), Alberto Ibarguen (2013), Miles O’Brien (2014), David Fanning (2015), Newton Minow (2016), Bill Isler (2017), Stanley Nelson (2018) Judy Woodruff (2019), Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2021), Sonia Manzano (2022).


PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 36 million adults on linear primetime television, more than 15 million users on PBS-owned streaming platforms, and 56 million people view PBS content on social media, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature, and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS LearningMedia for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. As the number one educational media brand, PBS KIDS helps children 2-8 build critical skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality content on TV — including a PBS KIDS channel — and streaming free and the PBS KIDS Video app, games on the PBS KIDS Games app, and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, Facebook, Instagram, or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Communications on X (formerly Twitter).

Featured News Taping Recap

Taping recap: Foo Fighters

Rock superstars Foo Fighters returned to the ACL stage for their third headlining appearance with a powerhouse, unforgettable, near 20-song set. The iconic band have captured the hearts of audiences worldwide with their soul-baring rock and roll. 

Fearless leader Dave Grohl led the band through a mellow version of their classic “Times Like These,” opening a nearly two and a half hour performance—a musical sermon that celebrated the Foos legendary near three-decade career. Fans were undoubtedly welcomed to the church of rock and roll. A collection of the Foos’ signature blend of melody-driven alternative rock, roughened around the edges by Dave Grohl’s punk-influenced screams, were delivered masterfully. The rockers became intimate storytellers amongst speedy drum fills and rock and roll riff-mania, as they delivered tracks from their 2023 release But Here We Are and hard-hitting classics from throughout their catalog. The rock veterans proved their rightful place as the rock heroes of the ACL stage – a monumental music moment that fans will remember, everlong. 

Grohl’s candid stage charisma and heartwarmingly charming commentary lead the way for audience interactions sprinkled in between tracks. “What’s up, people!” Grohl shouted ahead of playing “Nothing At All.” “We’ve been here hanging out all week – this is good shit! I like playing new stuff with an audience like this.” After Grohl introduced esteemed guitarists Pat Smear and Chris Shiflett, bassist Nate Mendel banged out the instantly recognizable riff to the Beastie Boys classic “Sabotage.” Grohl then turned the spotlight to  keyboardist Rami Jaffee and new addition drummer Josh Freese (The Germs, Nine Inch Nails). “I wish this was the biggest band he’s ever been in,” Grohl noted about Freese. “He was in Devo, you guys!” Cue Freese energetically launching into the intro for their classic “Whip It.” 

Following the band’s powerfully moving performance of “The Glass”, a musical memorial to Grohl’s late mother, the Foos propelled forward with a change of pace, as Grohl asked “Anyone have any happy requests? Who wants to hear what? Let’s do a big, happy sing-along!” The uplifting anthem “My Hero”emerged  to gracefully lead the audience into an all-consuming emotional recovery,  with the raising of heart-shaped hands in a momentous gospel-like sing-along. 

As the heartfelt fan-lead choir filled the studio walls, the Foos’ raw lyricism returned to center stage with “The Teacher.” The song, off the 2023 release, But Here We Are, is a ten minute-long ode to grief’s tumultuous nature, one that pulls us to yearn for fond memories while tugging us to grapple with the abruptness of goodbyes. Grohl’s double decker ruby red Gibson SG played through to the final song, as the singer fondly recalled past ACL performances, and added “Let’s hear it for Terry and everyone at ACL!” before seamlessly pumping the breaks into Groho’s solo rendition of the signature tune “Everlong.” 

Encoring with their powerful anthem “The Best of You,” Foo Fighters exemplified an unparalleled realness that never shied away from raw musicality. Invigorated by a rock and roll type of sincere sensitivity that is exclusively Foo-like, Foo fans are simply left to watch their heroes as they go. 


Times Like These

No Son of Mine


La Dee Da

Under You

These Days


Nothing At All

The Sky is a Neighborhood

Shame Shame

The Glass

All My Life

My Hero

This is a Call


White Limo

The Teacher



The Best of You


Dave Grohl – vocals, guitar

Pat Smear – guitar

Chris Shiflett – guitar, vocals

Nate Mendel – bass, vocals

Rami Jafee – keyboards

Josh Freese – drums