Ellis Rich has been elected as chairman of Britain's Performing Right Society (PRS) for a three-year term.

Ellis Rich has been elected as chairman of Britain's Performing Right Society (PRS) for a three-year term. A former EMI Music Publishing executive and a recent deputy chairman and board member of PRS, Rich will take up the post from Jan. 1, 2005.

The appointment, announced today (Sept. 30), sees Rich become the collecting society's first-ever independent pop publisher; he is the current CEO of the Independent Music Group (IMG) in the U.K.

At the same time, incumbent PRS chairman David Bedford will step aside from the role, having completed a three-year term. During Bedford's tenure as chairman, London-based PRS' distributable income will have risen by more than £25 million ($45 million), up an average of 4% each year, according to the society.

In a statement, Rich praises Bedford for guiding the society through a period of consolidation "where change has been effected, in terms of policy and systems."

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2003, PRS reported year-on-year revenue growth of 6% to £283.2 million ($519.9 million), an all-time high. Distributable income to its 40,000 songwriter and publisher members rose 5% during the year to a record amount of £242.5 million ($445.2 million).