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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).


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