ASCAP Nashville VP Michael Martin to Exit

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ASCAP Nashville vice president and country music heavyweight Michael Martin will depart from the PRO later this week, as he stages a return to the music publishing fold.

Martin, recognized in Billboard’s 2019 Country Power Players list, will exit ASCAP Nashville with effect from June 14.

Commenting on the development, ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews said, “Michael’s leadership of our Nashville team over the past four years has been extraordinary. We are excited for him as he returns to his ‘first love’ of music publishing, and we look forward to partnering with him in his new role.”

Martin jointly led ASCAP’s creative staff alongside LeAnn Phelan prior to his promotion to VP in 2015. He joined ASCAP five years beforehand from Extreme Writers Group (EWG), a publishing and content development firm which he co-founded in 2000 with Jason Houser and shared responsibilities for day-to-day operations.

Martin has yet to disclose his future endeavors. 

In related news, longtime ASCAP executive and songwriter advocate Mike Sistad has been promoted to vice president. Looking ahead, Sistad will lead the PRO’s Nashville membership team, reporting to executive VP of membership John Titta. Sistad brings to the role more than eighteen years’ experience with the membership team, during which time he has signed and guided the likes of Chris Stapleton, Kelsea Ballerini, Old Dominion, Brothers Osborne, Carly Pearce and others.

At the same time, ASCAP’s Kele Currier has been elevated to assistant VP, strategic services, membership, reporting to Sistad. Currier has more than 20 years’ industry experience, joining ASCAP in 2013 in the position of director of strategic services, membership.

Sistad “has been an essential member of our membership team for many years, and his understanding of the needs of our valuable songwriter and publisher community in Nashville is unparalleled,” enthuses Titta in a statement. “His reputation as a fierce advocate for songwriters and his close bonds with our Nashville members make him the perfect choice to lead our talented team in Music City.”

On Currier’s promotion, Sistad stated, “Kele’s dedication to the livelihoods of our songwriter and publisher members is immense. She has consistently proven her excellence as a strategic resource while delivering exceptional service to our members."