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Susan Davenport Austin

Broadcast company executive Susan Davenport Austin was born in 1967. Her parents are Judith Davenport and Ronald R. Davenport, the founders of the Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation. Austin received her A.B. degree in mathematics from Harvard University in 1989, and her M.B.A degree from Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1993.

In 1993, Austin was hired as an investment banker at Salomon Brothers, Inc., where she went on to serve as a vice president in telecommunications finance. From 1997 to 2000, she worked as an associate director for Bear, Stearns & Company. Austin was subsequently appointed as a vice president in the communications, media and entertainment group at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where she served until 2001. Then, in 2002, she was named vice president of strategic planning for her family’s Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). In 2004, Austin became president of the Sheridan Gospel Network; in 2007, she was made senior vice president and chief financial officer of SBC. She was named vice chairman of SBC in 2013.

In 2011, Austin became the first woman and first African American elected as chairman of the board of directors of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI). She also serves on the boards of Prudential Variable Annuities, Hubbard Radio, and Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation. In addition, Austin has served as vice chair of the National Association of Broadcasters’ Audit Committee, as president of the Stanford Business School Alumni Association, chair of the Lower Eastside Girls Club, board member of the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation, and as president of the board of the MacDowell Colony.

Austin was honored by Girls Incorporated in 1998 and received the inaugural John W. Gardner Volunteer Service Award from The Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2002. In 2008, she received the International Gospel Industry Service Honor and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Prestige Award. Radio Ink Magazine has named her one of the Most Influential African Americans in Radio and one of the Most Influential Women in Radio. She has been profiled in Womensbiz, Ebony and XII magazines.

Susan Davenport Austin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 15, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.161

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/15/2014

Last Name

Austin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Davenport

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Ellis School

Harvard University

Stanford University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Susan

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

AUS05

State

Pennsylvania

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

10/19/1967

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Short Description

Broadcast executive Susan Davenport Austin (1967 - ) has served as vice president of strategic planning and senior vice president and chief financial officer of Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation, as well as president of the Sheridan Gospel Network. In 2011, she became the first woman and first African American chairman of the board of directors of Broadcast Music, Inc.

Employment

Sheridan Broadcasting

Goldman Sachs

Bear Stearns

Solomon Brothers