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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).


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

ACL salutes our GRAMMY winners

Austin City Limits sends our congratulations to the winners of last night’s 64th annual GRAMMY Awards, co-produced by ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. Season 47 standouts Jon Batiste and Olivia Rodrigo both won big. New Orleans native and Stephen Colbert bandleader Batiste won Album of the Year for his 2021 LP We Are, as well as Best American Roots Song, Best American Roots Performance, Best Music Video and Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media (for his contributions to the Pixar film Soul). We’ll be encoring his extraordinary Season 47 hour this coming weekend, to remind everyone what a special artist he is. Chart-topping singer-songwriter Rodrigo, who, like Batiste, made her ACL debut last season, scored a trio of honors, including the coveted Best New Artist award, as well as Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album. ACL three-timer St. Vincent, who showcased her latest Daddy’s Home in our Season 47, took home Best Alternative Album for the record.

Though still reeling, as are we all, from the heartbreaking passing of beloved drummer Taylor Hawkins, our friends Foo Fighters swept the categories in which they were nominated for their recent Medicine At Midnight: Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance. Other threepeater ACL performers included country superstar Chris Stapleton (Best Country Album, Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance) and gospel great CeCe Winans (Best Gospel Album, Best Gospel Performance/Song, Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song). Other alumni who took home statuettes include H.E.R., Los Lobos, Juanes, Esperanza Spalding, Rhiannon Giddens, Andra Day, Angelique Kidjo, Bela Fleck, Kendrick Lamar (as guest of Best Rap Performance winner Baby Keem) and late Pat Metheny Group keyboardist Lyle Mays. Special shout out to fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff, who’s gone from his Season 39 performance to win Producer of the Year for his work on several acclaimed and bestselling albums, including St. Vincent’s Grammy-winning Daddy’s Home

A complete list of winners and nominees can be found here. ACL congratulates everyone for their hard work.